Different isn’t always better.
That’s arguably the case with one of the latest developments on Elon Musk’s Twitter. The official Twitter account for National Public Radio(Opens in a new tab) (or NPR) controversially got a “U.S. state-affiliated media” label on its profile last week, which was quietly changed to “government-funded media” over the weekend, per Gizmodo(Opens in a new tab). The original label is typically attached to more overtly propagandistic pages.
NPR hasn’t tweeted since the label originally showed up.
Different, but kind of the same. Credit: Screenshot: Twitter
The difference between the two is largely semantic. In fact, clicking on the label brings you to a page(Opens in a new tab) explaining what the previous label meant. According to Twitter, that label exists for “outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution.”
That definition is vague enough that it’s impossible to say from the outside looking in whether or not it’s 100 percent accurate as it pertains to NPR. Strangely enough, the new label is actually less broad and thus potentially less accurate. Direct government funding only accounts for about one percent of the outlet’s annual budget, per NPR itself(Opens in a new tab).
It’s a strange, evolving situation, as is just about everything else involving Musk’s ownership of Twitter.