Twitter Unhooks New York Times | News in social media
The move comes after Twitter owner Elon Musk posted disparaging comments about the newspaper.
Twitter has removed the verification badge from the main account of The New York Times, one of Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s most despised news organizations.
The removal comes as many of Twitter’s high-profile users prepare for the loss of the blue checks that helped verify their identity and distinguish them from imposters on the social media platform.
Musk, who owns Twitter, set a deadline on Saturday for verified users to buy a premium Twitter subscription or lose the checks on their profiles. The Times said in a story Thursday that it would not pay Twitter to verify its institutional accounts.
Early Sunday, Musk tweeted that the Times̵[ads1]7; chin would be removed. He later posted disparaging comments about the newspaper, which has aggressively reported on Twitter about failures of partially automated driving systems at Tesla, the electric car company that Musk also runs.
Other Times accounts, such as the business news and opinion pages, still had either blue or gold tickers as of Sunday, as did several reporters for the news organization.
“We do not plan to pay the monthly tick status fee for our institutional Twitter accounts,” The Times said in a statement Sunday. “We also will not reimburse journalists for Twitter Blue for personal accounts, except in rare cases where that status would be essential for reporting purposes,” the paper added.
The Associated Press, which has said it also will not pay for the hooks, still had them displayed on its accounts as of noon Sunday.
Twitter did not respond to The Associated Press’ emailed questions about the removal of The New York Times branding.
The cost of keeping tabs ranges from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly to verify an organization, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account. Twitter does not verify individual accounts to ensure they are who they say they are, as was the case with the previous blue check distributed to public figures and others during the platform’s pre-Musk administration.
While the cost of Twitter Blue subscriptions may seem like nothing to Twitter’s most famous commentators, celebrity users from basketball star LeBron James to Star Trek’s William Shatner have jumped on the bandwagon. American sitcom Seinfeld actor Jason Alexander vowed to leave the platform if Musk takes his blue check.
The White House is also extending registration to premium accounts, according to a memo sent to staff. While Twitter has given a free gray check to President Joe Biden and members of his cabinet, lower-level employees won’t get Twitter Blue benefits unless they pay for it themselves.
“If you see impersonations that you believe violate Twitter’s stated impersonation policies, notify Twitter using Twitter’s public impersonation portal,” said the staff memo from White House official Rob Flaherty.
Alexander, the actor, said there are bigger problems in the world, but without the blue badge, “anyone can claim to be me”.
After buying Twitter for $44 billion last October, Musk has sought to boost revenue for the struggling platform by pushing more people to pay for a premium subscription. But his move also reflects his claim that the blue verification badges have become an undeserved or “corrupt” status symbol for elite personalities, news reporters and others who were given free verification by Twitter’s former management.
Along with shielding celebrities from impersonators, one of Twitter’s main reasons for blue-badging profiles starting around 14 years ago was to verify politicians, activists and people who had suddenly found themselves in the news, as well as little-known small-time journalists. publications worldwide, as an additional tool to limit misinformation originating from accounts impersonating individuals. Most “legacy blue checks” are not household names and were not meant to be.
One of Musk’s first product moves after taking over Twitter was to launch a service that gave blue checks to anyone willing to pay $8 a month. But it was quickly inundated with impostor accounts, including those impersonating Nintendo, drug company Eli Lilly and Musk’s businesses Tesla and SpaceX, so Twitter had to temporarily suspend the service days after the launch.
The relaunched service costs $8 a month for web users and $11 a month for users of its iPhone or Android apps. Subscribers will see fewer ads, be able to post longer videos and have their tweets highlighted.