Elon Musk’s Twitter Strip New York Times of Verified Checkmark
Elon Musk has ordered his company, Twitter, to strip the New York Times of their verified checkmark effective immediately — and it appears he targeted them out of pure spite.
Here’s the deal … the NYT lost its blue/gold checkmark Sunday (we can’t even keep up with the colors anymore), which guaranteed verification and authenticated the account as a legit news organization. The timing and reason is no secret … Elon made the call from the top.
The reason we know that is because EM himself commented on the state of the Times from his personal Twitter account, kinda crapping on them … literally. He writes, “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting.”
Elon adds, “Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable. They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications.” BTW, the Times is the only major legacy news co. to lose its check so far.
Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable.
They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles.
Same applies to all publications.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2023
Now, as for why the NYT was quite clearly singled out … well, it seems like Elon was made aware that they publicly said they wouldn’t be shelling out to pay for their gold check going forward — something that all companies will now have to do at a rate of $1,000/month.
They went on record this past week to say … “We aren’t planning to pay the monthly fee for verification of our institutional Twitter accounts.” They also said they wouldn’t be reimbursing most employees for their own verified accounts either … except a select few.
“We also will not reimburse reporters for the verification of personal accounts,” The NYT spokesperson adds to me, “except in rare instances where verified status would be essential for reporting purposes.”
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) March 30, 2023
They were far from the only media companies to say something similar, FWIW — CNN, WaPo and the LA Times (just to name a few) are planning to do the same thing … AKA, not pay.
However, in what looks to be since-deleted tweets from Elon … he was allegedly only notified about the Times’ defiant stance, specifically — and based on these screengrabs from Twitter sleuths, it sounds like he may have taken it personally and pulled the trigger on ‘em early.
One alleged tweet of his says he’s going to give folks a few weeks to make the shift (to paying either $8/mo or $1,000/mo) but when he learned the NYT already dug their heels in … he appears to have said, “OH YEAH?!?” Wouldn’t you know it — now NYT is unverified.
The changes are happening fast … and seemingly arbitrarily too. Buckle in, people!!!