PBS joins NPR in quitting Twitter

Following NPR yesterday, PBS is also quitting Twitter after it was tagged as government-funded.

"PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time," PBS spokesman Jason Phelps said in an email. "We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely."

The spat began after Twitter tagged NPR as "state-affiliated media," a description it also uses for propaganda accounts from Russia and China. Twitter later changed the wording to "government-funded media," but the organization has called the description inaccurate and misleading because it's a nonprofit group with editorial independence. 

Twitter owner Elon Musk has cited NPR's reliance on US government money, though the Washington-based organization only gets a small fraction of its funding from federal agencies.

The label applied to NPR and PBS (previously the baldly false "state-affiliated media") was implies state-run broadcasters with direct government control of editorial content. But NPR and PBS receive only a small percentage of their budgets from taxpayer funds, while other media, and large companies such as Tesla and SpaceX, have received billions over the years. Twitter boss Elon Musk is content to make clear that it's all retaliatory whimsy on his part.