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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

New York Times Loses Twitter Verification Badge in Protest Against Subscription Service

The New York Times is among the organisations that have lost their blue verification badges on Twitter after refusing to pay for the subscription service. Twitter is removing blue ticks from accounts that do not pay for it, prompting concerns that genuine accounts will be difficult to distinguish from impersonators. Under the new rule, organisations can pay $1,000 a month for a gold verification tick, while individual accounts can pay $8 a month for a blue tick. The New York Times stated that it would not pay for the verification of its journalists’ Twitter accounts, except in rare instances where the status is essential for reporting purposes.

Organisations Refuse to Pay for Verification

The New York Times, which has almost 55 million Twitter followers, stated that it would not pay for the verification of its journalists’ Twitter accounts except in rare instances where the status is essential for reporting purposes. However, it is unclear whether all organisations must sign up for the subscription service to remain verified. Ten thousand of the most-followed organisations on Twitter will be exempt from the rules, according to an internal Twitter document cited by the New York Times.

Manual Process for Removing Blue Ticks

The Washington Post reports that the removal of blue ticks seems to be happening gradually, possibly due to the largely manual process involved. Twitter introduced three different coloured verification badges, with gold ticks used for business organisations, grey ticks for government-affiliated accounts or multilateral organisations, and blue ticks for individual accounts. Several news organisations, including CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post, have gold ticks, while other New York Times accounts, such as New York Times Arts and New York Times Travel, also have the gold badge.

Elon Musk Insults the New York Times

Elon Musk, who owns Twitter, launched a volley of insults at the New York Times, calling their propaganda uninteresting and describing their feed as the Twitter equivalent of diarrhoea. However, there has been no official comment from Twitter, and the New York Times has not responded to Musk’s comments. Critics of the new fee-paying system have raised concerns that it will make it difficult to differentiate genuine accounts from impersonators.

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