Twitter: Musk is now having the US broadcaster NPR marked as state-controlled

Elon Musk apparently carries out the most private feuds via Twitter and also uses his ownership power to declassify media that are actually well-known.

Twitter owner Elon Musk has taken the next step in his feud with US media. The American broadcaster NPR is now marked as state-controlled on Twitter – just like the news agencies Xinhua from China or Tass from Russia. The flag has implications for NPR as Twitter restricts the reach of such profiles. NPR chief John Lansing called Twitter’s move “unacceptable.” NPR stands for freedom of speech and for holding those in power accountable. The classification is factually incorrect: NPR is independent and funding comes from donations and contributions from affiliated broadcasters, in addition to a public fund.

Until recently, even Twitter’s own guidelines on flagging state-funded channels stated that editorially independent channels like NPR and the BBC in the UK were not included. After Musk was tweeted about the contradiction by a Washington Post journalist, Twitter deleted NPR from the sentence. In a tweet, Musk referred to the description that media would be flagged where the state exercises editorial control over financial or political pressure. He didn’t explain how exactly that applies to NPR.

The White House emphasized that social networks make their own independent decisions about rules. But there is no doubt about the independence of NPR’s journalists, said White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre. Exactly why the transmitter got on Musk’s radar also remained unclear. However, he recently responded with an exclamation mark to a criticism of an NPR article shared by a Twitter confidant. The text was about conspiracy theories fueled by right-wing activists, according to which “elites” promoted the consumption of insects in order to control the population.

Attacks on renowned media

As a Twitter owner with more than 130 million followers, Musk currently serves as an amplifier for right-wing political views. Among other things, he railed against the “woke brain virus” and thus joins the ranks of those who claim that the current commitment to combating various types of discrimination is going too far. Musk recently accused the media of being “racist” towards whites. In the case of the New York Times, he claimed their “propaganda” was not even interesting and called the content of the newspaper’s Twitter profile “diarrhea”. The New York Times account was also de-verified. The tech billionaire and boss of the electric car manufacturer Tesla has long seen himself treated unfairly by the US media.

Musk recently exchanged the Twitter logo on his platform for that of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin. After a small price jump, however, the digital currency remains at still measly amounts.


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