Elon Musk, the CEO of several high-profile companies such as SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink, has been involved in a recent controversy involving NPR and Twitter. The tech billionaire has reportedly threatened to reassign the NPR Twitter handle to another company.
The conflict started in April when Musk labeled NPR as “government-funded media” on their Twitter profile. NPR then decided to quit Twitter, citing the label as “inaccurate and misleading.” After receiving backlash from news outlets, Musk removed the labels from their Twitter pages.
In a series of emails between Musk and NPR reporter Bobby Allen, Musk suggested that he could transfer the NPR Twitter account to someone else. “So is NPR going to start posting on Twitter again, or should we reassign @NPR to another company?” Musk asked in an email sent to Allen.
However, Musk’s proposed action would go against Twitter’s policy. Currently, the social media platform measures account inactivity based on logging in, not tweeting. NPR has not tweeted since April 12, but under the current terms of service, they could keep the account as long as they log in every 30 days.
Musk, on the other hand, has defended his actions, saying that his policy applies to all accounts and that there is no special treatment for NPR. “Our policy is to recycle handles that are definitively dormant. Same policy applies to all accounts. No special treatment for NPR,” he said in an email to NPR.
When Allen asked who could take over the Twitter account, Musk replied, “National Pumpkin Radio,” a play on NPR’s initials.
The conflict has sparked a debate on Twitter’s inactive account policy, with some users questioning whether the platform should consider tweeting frequency when measuring account inactivity.
The incident has also raised questions about the power that tech billionaires like Musk wield over social media. As the CEO of several high-profile companies, Musk has a significant influence over Twitter and other platforms. Critics argue that Musk’s proposed action to reassign the NPR Twitter handle to another company is an abuse of power and that Twitter should take action to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
NPR has not issued a statement on the matter. However, the incident has reignited a debate about the role of media in society and the challenges that news outlets face in the age of social media.
In conclusion, the conflict between Elon Musk and NPR highlights the challenges that news outlets face in the age of social media. It also raises questions about the power that tech billionaires wield over these platforms and the need for policies to prevent the abuse of power. The incident has sparked a debate on Twitter’s inactive account policy and the role of media in society, and it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved.