Twitter: Why Elon Musk backtracked on “state-affiliated media” label

Writing an article on Twitter – and Elon Musk – means taking the risk that it will be obsolete a few hours after its publication. Because since taking office at the head of the social network, the whimsical billionaire has changed his mind like his shirt. Latest about-face: the abandonment of the mention “media affiliated with the State”, this Friday, after several days of controversy.

At the beginning of February, Twitter had launched different badges to classify its users: the blue tick of “certified” account for Twitter Blue subscribers , the gray tick for government bodies, the yellow tick for “official companies”, as well as mentions specific to the media. Three distinct labels had been created: “state-affiliated”, “government-funded” or “publicly funded” media.

Credibility questioned

But some public media, such as NPR (National Public Radio) in the United States , the BBC in the United Kingdom or even RTVE in Spain, had complained of being labeled “state-affiliated” media, a title leading to confusion between state media, such as Sputnik or Russia Today, and public information services, such as Radio France. And for good reason, according to Twitter, “state-affiliated media” was “defined as media whose editorial content is controlled by this state through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressure and/or control over production and distribution,” the site read.


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