Elon Musk threatens to reassign NPR’s Twitter account to another firm


Elon Musk threatened to reassign NPR’s Twitter account to “another company,” according to the non-profit news organisation, in an ongoing spat between Musk and media groups since his USD 44 billion acquisition of Twitter last year.
“So is NPR going to start posting on Twitter again, or should we reassign @NPR to another company?” Musk wrote in one email late Tuesday to NPR reporter Bobby Allyn.
NPR stopped tweeting from its main account after Twitter abruptly labelled NPR’s main account as “ state-affiliated media “ last month, a term that’s also been used to identify outlets controlled or heavily influenced by authoritarian governments. Twitter then changed the label to “ government-funded media.”
NPR said that both labels were inaccurate and undermined its credibility — noting the nonprofit news company operates independently of the U.S. government. Federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting accounts for less than 1 per cent of NPR’s annual operating budget, the company said.The last tweets on NPR’s main account are from April 12 — when the news organisation shared a thread of other places readers and listeners can find its journalism.
Musk’s comments and his actions, however, do not always match and it is uncertain if he will actually reassign NPR’s handle, regardless of Twitter’s published policy on account activity.When asked by NPR who would be willing to use NPR’s Twitter account, Musk replied, “National Pumpkin Radio,” along with a fire emoji and a laughing emoji, NPR reported.
It is unknown if NPR has logged into its account, which currently has a blue check without the previous “government-funded media” label, since April. The Associated Press reached out to NPR for comment early Wednesday.Musk disbanded Twitter’s media and public relations department after the takeover.
As of Wednesday, the NPR Twitter handle still appeared to belong to NPR. If Musk does reassign the account to another user, experts warn of misinformation and further loss of credibility.
“For journalism, there’s not only brand safety concerns, but in addition to that, there are a ton of concerns around misinformation potentially being perceived as a lot more credible — because someone (could be) tweeting from the NPR handle when it’s really not them,” Sanderson added