After Twitter switched to a paid verification system and CEO Elon Musk criticized the news organization on Sunday, the platform’s primary account for the New York Times lost its gold “verified” badge. When Musk acquired control of the microblogging platform last year, he gave paying subscribers access to the “blue checkmark,” which denotes a legitimate account.
The website stated that as of April 1, it would begin to phase out “legacy” blue checkmarks. The New York Times was one of the news media organizations, businesses, and charities that had already lost their blue tick and been identified by Musk’s new system as verified business accounts with a gold tick.
After the launch of the subscription service known as Twitter Blue, these organizations would have to pay a monthly charge of $1,000 in the United States and $50 for each additional associated account to keep the gold tick. According to The New York Times, it will not pay for a verified business account and will only subscribe for a blue tick if it is necessary for journalists’ reporting needs.
With roughly 55 million followers as of Sunday, the company’s main account had lost its gold checkmark, while affiliate accounts, such as those for its travel and commentary sections, still displayed the ticks. LeBron James and other prominent figures from the media who have declared they would not pay for Twitter Blue have kept the blue or gold checkmarks on their profiles.
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Musk tweeted at the New York Times in the early hours of Sunday, stating, “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even entertaining,” and comparing the newspaper’s main feed to “diarrhea” and calling it “unreadable.”
The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2023
Travis Brown, a software developer based in Berlin who monitors social media networks, claims that just a small number of accounts have been unverified, suspended, or had profile parts deleted since Saturday. A recent increase in the number of accounts switching from the legacy to the new system, he claimed, totaled about 60,000 in the previous week, although most of them were “mainly minor accounts, and relatively few had old verification.”
The blue tick, which was introduced in 2009 and has since become a defining feature, has helped the platform establish itself as a dependable arena for newsmakers and activists. Musk and his supporters, however, claimed that the choice of who received the coveted checkmark was chosen by fiat in a covert process and that it was a representation of an unfair class system.
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Companies, journalists, and famous people who relied on the blue and gold ticks for credibility and utilized Twitter as their primary communication route were under pressure as a result of Musk’s adjustments. Additionally, they raise the possibility that scammers and pranksters might pay for an officially verified but completely bogus account.
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