Twitter has stripped the main account of The New York Times (NYT) of its verification badge, just two days after the renowned newspaper announced that it would not be paying for the newly launched Twitter Blue service. The paid verification service, introduced by Elon Musk’s company, requires users to pay $8 and businesses to pay $1,000 to maintain their verification status.
Despite this, the other sections of the newspaper still retain their verified status on the social media platform. Twitter had announced that the new verification service would take effect on Saturday, requiring payments to keep the coveted blue checkmark.
Most accounts that previously had the blue badge continue to display it, with the accompanying certification indicating that the account is “verified because it is subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.” This message does not clarify whether the verification badge is present due to the user having paid for it or because it was already there before the new service was implemented.
On Friday, The New York Times jokingly anticipated an “apocalypse” on Twitter due to the changes in the verification system and insisted that it would not pay for its institutional accounts. The NYT, with 55 million followers, ranks among the top 25 most-followed accounts on the social network. It also informed its journalists that they would not be reimbursed for subscribing to Twitter Blue, which provides the renowned blue badge alongside the username, “except in unusual cases where it is necessary for work.”
The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting
Elon Musk has criticized the NYT on Twitter, calling it “propagandist.” In a tweet, the controversial entrepreneur wrote, “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting. Plus, their profile is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable. They would have many more real followers if they just posted their most important articles.”
The Washington Post (WP), another newspaper that has refused to pay for the verification badge, reported that Musk wrote in a now-deleted tweet that verified accounts would be given “a grace period of a few weeks, unless they say they’re not going to pay now, in which case we’ll remove it.”
As of Sunday, WP still had its golden verification, reserved for “official organizations.” Basketball player LeBron James, who has 52 million followers and commented on Friday that he would not be paying for his verification, still had the blue badge on Twitter as of Sunday.