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KPBS is no longer active on Twitter

On Monday, KPBS announced that it would no longer be using Twitter. The move follows the social media company’s recent decision to label both the NPR and PBS accounts as “government-funded media” and before that as “state-affiliated media.”

Last week NPR announced it would no longer tweet from its 52 official Twitter feeds, becoming the first major news organization to go silent on the social media platform.

KPBS will no longer be posting fresh content on its KPBS, KPBSNews, OneBookSD and GIFilmFestSD accounts.


KPBS Director of Communications and Marketing Heather Milne Barger said the decision to leave the platform was made for two reasons. The first was a notable decline in audience engagement.

“We looked at how many people are engaging with our content, how many people are we reaching through the content. Are we actually fulfilling our public service? And last month, when we were working on our strategic plan for the coming year, I'd removed Twitter from our goals for the year,” Milne Barger said.

The second reason was Twitter’s decision to add labels NPR and PBS’ accounts and the potential harm that label would have on public media’s credibility as a whole.

“It just became clear to us that this wasn't a credible platform for us to actually fulfill our public (media) service," Milne Barger said.

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News organizations' exodus from Twitter is sad to see, said Rebecca Nee, a professor of media studies and journalism at San Diego State University.


“I am sad to see these organizations leaving Twitter because there really is no other platform out there that does what Twitter is able to do,” Nee said.

For many people, Twitter is where they go for breaking news updates and the platform has played an important role in news on the global stage.

“Remember the Arab Spring? Activists being able to use Twitter to really describe to the rest of the world their plight. There are two little girls in Syria who are documenting the Civil War there. It's a platform, unlike anything we have ever seen,” Nee said.

Audiences can still find and engage with KPBS content on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. The station also provides breaking news updates through its app available on the App Store and Google Play stores. KPBS also has several newsletters.

KPBS News Director Terence Shepherd said the station is always looking for ways to keep its audience as informed as possible.

“We will use our existing platforms, and we're always exploring new places to connect with people where they are,” Shepherd said.

Twitter’s CEO Elon Musk did not respond to a tweet asking for a comment and an email to Twitter’s media relations auto-replied with a poop emoji.