Elon Musk Vengefully Kills New York Times’ Verified Twitter Checkmark
In a seeming petty act of revenge, Elon Musk has stripped The New York Times of its verified checkmark just hours after vowing to do so in response to the newspaper’s insistence that it wouldn’t be paying for the blue badge.
The move comes a day after Twitter was set to begin yanking badges from verified users, with Musk announcing that such “legacy” marks would be wound down in favor of his pay-to-play Twitter Blue scheme.
But on Sunday, only “a few dozen” verified accounts, including the Times, had had their verified status taken away, according to a software developer tracking the activity.
Long one of Musk’s largest bugbears, the Times is Twitter’s 24th most-followed account, having accumulated more than 54.9 million followers as of the weekend.
On Thursday, the newspaper was one of several large news organizations to declare that it would not pay Twitter to keep itself or its journalists verified. The removal of the Times’ verified status comes hours after Musk responded to a Jurassic Park meme mocking that announcement.
“Oh ok, we’ll take it off then,” Musk wrote in response.
Less than an hour later, Musk returned to his keyboard to vent. “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” he tweeted.
“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea,” he continued. “It’s unreadable. They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications.“
Other Times-affiliated accounts, including its international news, arts and entertainment, tech, and business sections, remained verified on Sunday, as did many of its individual reporters.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for the newspaper reiterated that it would not be coughing up for a badge.