However, as with many decisions made by Musk, there was a catch. Not only had Musk removed the “government funded media” and “publicly-funded media” labels that had irked NPR and the BBC, he also removed the “state-affiliated media” labels from known government propaganda outlets like China’s Xinhua News and People’s Daily as well as Russia’s RT. Previously, users whose tweets shared links to state-affiliated media websites were labeled to indicate the outlets were aligned with the state’s goals.

“State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” Twitter explained in its platform guidelines, which could still be viewed on Thursday night. “Accounts belonging to state-affiliated media entities, their editors-in-chief, and/or their prominent staff may be labeled. We will also add labels to Tweets that share links to state-affiliated media websites.”


Eliminating the “state-affiliated media” label from these accounts makes it harder for users to tell that their content is controlled by the government. It’s also unclear whether Twitter will continue to label tweets that link to state-affiliated media websites. Twitter deleted its guidelines on government and media account labels on the platform on Friday, and clicking on the link takes you to a 404 page. The guidelines can still be viewed on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

A screenshot of the 404 page which used to house Twitter's media labeling quidelines.

Gizmodo reached to NPR for comment on Friday morning and asked whether the outlet would consider returning to Twitter now that the labels were gone but did not immediately receive a response.