Support

Explore

HomeNo Image is Available
About UsNo Image is Available
AuthorsNo Image is Available
TeamNo Image is Available
CareersNo Image is Available
InternshipNo Image is Available
Contact UsNo Image is Available
MethodologyNo Image is Available
Correction PolicyNo Image is Available
Non-Partnership PolicyNo Image is Available
Cookie PolicyNo Image is Available
Grievance RedressalNo Image is Available
Republishing GuidelinesNo Image is Available

Languages & Countries :






More about them

Fact CheckNo Image is Available
LawNo Image is Available
ExplainersNo Image is Available
NewsNo Image is Available
DecodeNo Image is Available
BOOM ReportsNo Image is Available
Media BuddhiNo Image is Available
Web StoriesNo Image is Available
BOOM ResearchNo Image is Available
Deepfake TrackerNo Image is Available
VideosNo Image is Available

Support

Explore

HomeNo Image is Available
About UsNo Image is Available
AuthorsNo Image is Available
TeamNo Image is Available
CareersNo Image is Available
InternshipNo Image is Available
Contact UsNo Image is Available
MethodologyNo Image is Available
Correction PolicyNo Image is Available
Non-Partnership PolicyNo Image is Available
Cookie PolicyNo Image is Available
Grievance RedressalNo Image is Available
Republishing GuidelinesNo Image is Available

Languages & Countries :






More about them

Fact CheckNo Image is Available
LawNo Image is Available
ExplainersNo Image is Available
NewsNo Image is Available
DecodeNo Image is Available
BOOM ReportsNo Image is Available
Media BuddhiNo Image is Available
Web StoriesNo Image is Available
BOOM ResearchNo Image is Available
Deepfake TrackerNo Image is Available
VideosNo Image is Available
Explainers

Twitter Labels NPR, BBC As 'Government Funded Media'. What Does It Mean?

The label was slightly tweaked after uproar over the earlier label which called them "state-affiliated" media organisations.

By - Sana Fazili | 10 April 2023 12:17 PM GMT

In the latest, of the many controversies that Twitter has seen since Elon Musk took over the microblogging site, Twitter has now branded US radio network NPR and the UK's national broadcaster BBC as 'Government Funded Media'. The label appears right below the Twitter handle on the profiles of the news organisations. Both the organisations were first tagged as 'state-affiliated media', which was later tweaked to 'Government Funded Media'. 

National Public Radio (NPR), with about 8 million followers, had last week said that it would not tweet until the "false label" was removed. The BBC too objected to the tag and said that it has asked Twitter to resolve the issue "as soon as possible". "The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, NPR's new bio on Twitter reads "NPR is an independent news orgainization committed to informing the public about the world around us.  You can find us every other place you read the news." 

What is 'state-affiliated media' label?

According to Twitter, state-affiliated media's editorial content is controlled by the state through financial resources, "direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution."

"Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled," Twitter says on its website.

It further adds that labels on state-affiliated accounts provide "additional context" about accounts that are controlled by certain official representatives of governments. "Labels contain information about the country the account is affiliated with and whether it is operated by a government representative or state-affiliated media entity. Additionally, these labels include a small icon of a flag to signal the account’s status as a government account and of a podium for state-affiliated media," Twitter says.

While Twitter has tweaked the label from "state-affiliated" to "govt-affiliated", the label still redirects to "state-affiliated media" page when clicked. NPR is yet to comment on its tweaked Twitter label.

On its website, Twitter says those accounts which do not play a role as a geopolitical or official Government communication channel will not be labelled. 

What did NPR say?

NPR's tech reporter Bobby Allyn wrote that Twitter's labelling of NPR as "state-affiliated media" might not be accurate, adding that it was a "shock" for everyone at NPR. The state-affiliated media label is usually used for media organisations operating from countries like Russia and China.

"With this label, every single tweet sent out from the account has a disclaimer notifying people that, basically, what you're seeing might be propaganda," Allyn said.

Allyn said that he has been in conversation over e-mail with Twitter boss Elon Musk over the issue and said that Musk's thinking on this label has been "all over the place". "He didn't seem to understand the difference between public media and state-controlled media," he said.

"In one email exchange, Musk appeared to be unclear about the difference between public media and state-controlled media when he decided to affix a state-affiliated media label on NPR's account," Allyn said.  

He said that NPR provided Musk with publicly available documentation of its finances that showed that nearly "40% of its funding comes from corporate sponsorships and 31% from fees for programming paid by local public radio stations".

"NPR also covers the news free of any government influence — something that should mean it does not receive state-affiliated labeling, according to Twitter's own rules," Allyn wrote.

What did the BBC say?

BBC reported that it was in talks with Musk to get the label removed since it is funded by the British public through a licence fee. BBC said that it raised the issue with Musk and he responded to the mail asking if the Twitter label was accurate. Musk, the BBC said, also appeared to suggest adding a link that would to its "exact funding sources". 

"All organizations have bias, some obviously much more than others. I should note that I follow BBC News on Twitter, because I think it is among the least biased," BBC quoted Musk as saying. 

BBC has around 2.2 million followers on Twitter. "The level of the £159 ($197) annual licence fee - which is required by law to watch live TV broadcasts or live streaming in the UK - is set by the government, but paid for by individual UK households," BBC said.