Social media giant Twitter has been at the center of controversy after it labeled the US radio network NPR and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) as "government-funded media". The labeling sparked an uproar from both networks, with NPR calling it "disparaging and inaccurate" and the BBC requesting clarification from Twitter. In response to the outcry, Twitter quietly changed the label overnight to "government-funded" in order to avoid further controversy.
Critics have argued that the labeling of NPR and BBC as "government-funded" is misleading and fails to acknowledge the true sources of funding for both networks. NPR receives funding from private, corporate, and government sources, while the BBC is funded primarily by a license fee paid by British households. Furthermore, the labeling implies that the two networks are government-controlled, which is not the case.
The change in labeling has been attributed to the influence of tech mogul Elon Musk, who is the founder of Twitter. Musk has previously been outspoken in his criticism of the media and its coverage of his companies and personal life. As Twitter is his own social media platform, it is likely that he has had a direct hand in the decision to label NPR and BBC as "government-funded."
Twitter's decision to label NPR and BBC as "government-funded media" has been met with criticism from both networks and the public. While it is unclear why Twitter made the decision, it is likely to have been influenced by Elon Musk's personal views on the media. Regardless, Twitter has now backtracked on its labeling and has changed the terminology to "government-funded" in order to avoid further controversy.
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