According to Reuters and other news sources, Elon Musk didn’t hold back in his criticism of the New York Times on Twitter. “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” tweeted the CEO, adding that the Times’ Twitter feed was “unreadable” and “the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea.”
Musk’s remarks were in response to the Times’ decision to refuse payment for their verified status on the social media platform, which subsequently led to the outlet losing it.
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
The New York Times made it clear on Friday that it will not be paying for the verified badge for its institutional account on Twitter. According to a spokesperson for the outlet who spoke to Reuters, the Times will also not be covering the cost of Twitter Blue personal accounts for their reporters, except in rare cases where the status is deemed essential for reporting. These decisions come in the wake of Twitter’s announcement on March 23 that it would begin phasing out its legacy verified program and removing the corresponding check mark badges from accounts starting April 1.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
As promised, Twitter followed through with its plan to remove the legacy golden check mark from the New York Times’ account. On Sunday morning, the badge disappeared, leaving the account’s nearly 55 million viewers without it. Presently, organizations without verified status on the platform will need to pay $1,000 every month for the golden check mark, with an additional $50 per month for each affiliate. Meanwhile, individual subscriptions to Twitter Blue begin at $7 monthly to acquire the coveted badge.
It’s worth noting that the New York Times is not the only major news outlet opting to forego payment for Twitter’s verification badges. According to a report by Politico on Saturday, both The Washington Post and CNN have also announced that they will not be footing the bill for their staffers’ blue check status.
According to a report by Axios, the White House has decided not to pay for the verification of its staff’s official Twitter profiles. White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty stated in an email sent to staffers on Friday, “It is our understanding that Twitter Blue does not provide person-level verification as a service. Thus, a blue check mark will now simply serve as a verification that the account is a paid user.”
“It’s disappointing to see that they have even fewer real followers than I thought,” and added, “Perhaps some are bots, but some are definitely real people who have been duped by their fake propaganda.” Musk stated.
Elon Musk, in his response to the New York Times, offered some advice to other news outlets. He stated, “They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles,” and added, “The same applies to all publications.”
Furthermore, Musk seemed to suggest that not all of the New York Times’ followers were legitimate. He stated, “It’s disappointing to see that they have even fewer real followers than I thought,” and added, “Perhaps some are bots, but some are definitely real people who have been duped by their fake propaganda.”