Twitter Spite-Removes New York Times’ Verified Badge
The alleged April 1 apocalypse for “legacy” Twitter users came and went without the mass purge of blue checkmarks, but one notable account didn’t make it out unscathed: In a probable spite move by Elon Musk, the New York Times — after making clear they would not pay for Twitter Blue — lost the golden badge usually anointed to “verified” newspapers and magazines.
While the New York Times’ sub-Twitters maintained its gold or blue badge status, the main account was showing up check-less on Sunday morning, hours after the Chief Twit rant-tweeted about the newspaper.
“The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” Musk wrote, @-ing the de-verified account. “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.”
Earlier in the week, in the lead-up to the planned April 1 stripping of the blue checkmarks, New York Times management informed employees that “we aren’t planning to pay the monthly fee for check mark status for our institutional Twitter accounts. We also will not reimburse reporters for Twitter Blue for personal accounts, except in rare instances where this status would be essential for reporting purposes.”
While dozens of publications and celebrities (including LeBron James and Stephen King) have similarly put their foot down in regards to paying for what they’ve long had for free, Musk turned the widespread defiance toward Twitter Blue into a spite-unverifying specifically aimed at the New York Times: Earlier in the night Saturday, in response to a meme about the New York Times declining to pay the Twitter Verification fee, Musk tweeted, “Oh ok, we’ll take it off then.”
At press time, the NYT main Twitter account was still badge-less, while its other accounts maintained their blue and gold checks:
As for the mass purge of Twitter blue checkmarks, the removal will reportedly be more of a slow drip than a sudden deluge, as the Washington Post reported: