Public television outlet PBS has stopped posting updates and other content to its main Twitter accounts, becoming the latest media organization to shun the social media platform over certain antics.
The decision to go dark on Twitter follows one made by public radio program distributor NPR after the social platform affixed a “state-affiliated media” label to its account two weeks ago. The tag was later amended to read “government-funded,” which is misleading.
Like NPR, PBS was slapped with a “government-funded” tag on their main profile. Unlike NPR, officials at PBS didn’t make a public announcement that they were ending their activity on Twitter — they simply stopped tweeting.
Business publication Axios was the first to note PBS had stopped publishing updates through Twitter, with officials confirming the move to its media reporter, Sara Fischer.
“We did stop tweeting at that point as soon as we discovered it,” a spokesperson for PBS affirmed. “We have no plans to resume tweeting.”
PBS and NPR produce programs that are purchased by independent member stations. Both organizations receive a small amount of funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the not-for-profit corporation established by Congress to support public media initiatives.
The overwhelming majority of funding to PBS and NPR comes from corporate sponsorships, private grants and revenue generated through the sale of its programming to independent radio and television outlets, which both refer to as “member stations.”
Neither PBS nor NPR own or directly operate radio or television broadcast stations in the United States. NPR did operate a radio station in Germany for several years before the broadcast license was transferred to California-based KCRW (the station stopped broadcasting in 2020).
Twitter has long sought to inform users about media outlets that have a direct connection to a government. In recent weeks, Twitter owner Elon Musk has applied the “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” label to accounts that have only a cursory connection to or funding by a government.