Second Taxpayer-Funded News Outlet Quits Twitter After Being Labeled State Media

April 13, 2023

PBS News on Wednesday announced it left Twitter after the social network labeled it "government-funded media," the same day NPR announced its exit over the same reason.

"PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time," PBS spokesman Jason Phelps told Bloomberg

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has pointed to the outlet’s funding from federal agencies as justifying the description, which was originally "state-affiliated media."

PBS said the "simplistic label" gives "the inaccurate impression that PBS is wholly funded by the federal government."

"PBS is primarily funded by the public and philanthropic organizations, with only a small portion of our funding coming from entities affiliated with government," the company said

NPR announced Wednesday it was no longer updating its 52 Twitter accounts in protest, calling it an "inaccurate label."

"Guess they won’t mind losing federal funding in that case," Musk said in a tweet. 

"We are officially deemphasizing Twitter across the organization," NPR said in a statement. 

It’s the latest development in Musk’s ongoing spat with mainstream media. In an interview this week, Musk cornered a BBC reporter who claimed hate content on Twitter "is on the rise." The reporter failed to provide an example of such content and Musk said he "lied."

Published under: Elon Musk , NPR , PBS , Twitter