Will NPR's departure hurt Twitter?

What it means for the platform that a major news outlet is calling it quits

(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

National Public Radio quit Twitter this week after the social media platform started labeling the public radio organization as "state-affiliated media." NPR, the first major news organization to say it was permanently leaving Twitter, said Twitter had questioned its credibility by branding it with the same designation it has long used to describe propaganda outlets from Russia, China, and other autocratic countries, although Twitter later softened NPR's label to "government-funded."

NPR CEO John Lansing said the decision to halt fresh posts to the network's 52 official Twitter feeds was necessary to protect its reputation and allow it to continue producing its journalism without "a shadow of negativity." NPR's main feed has 8.8 million followers. Lansing acknowledged that NPR would be losing a way to showcase its work and engage with its audience, but said the "downside" doesn't matter as much as defending NPR's credibility. Twitter also put the "state-affiliated" label on the BBC, Voice of America, and public television broadcaster PBS, which also suspended its Twitter posts.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.