Twitter Strips New York Times of Verification Badge, Musk Slams Outlet as ‘Propaganda’

Twitter has stripped the New York Times of its coveted verification badge.

The social media platform’s owner and CEO Elon Musk blasted the left-wing newspaper as “propaganda” and described its content as “diarrhea.”

The move comes amid the outlet refusing to pay for, and subsequently losing, its verified status on the platform, Reuters and other outlets reported Sunday.

“The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” Musk tweeted Sunday.

Musk doubled down in a second tweet, calling the outlet’s feed “unreadable” and “the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea.”

The New York Times announced Friday that it would not pay for the verified badge for its institutional account.

An NYT spokesperson also told Reuters that the outlet will not reimburse reporters for Twitter Blue personal accounts, “except in rare instances where this status would be essential for reporting purposes.”

Twitter announced on March 23 that the company would start “winding down” its legacy verified program.

The company started removing the associated checkmark badges on April 1.

As promised, the legacy golden check mark was unceremoniously removed from the Twitter account of the “Gray Lady.”

On Sunday morning, the account’s badge was no longer visible to its nearly 55 million viewers.

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Organizations that are not currently verified will have to pony up $1,000 monthly for the golden check mark, plus $50 per month for each additional affiliate.

Individual subscriptions to Twitter Blue start at $7 monthly for the badge.

The New York Times is not alone in its decision to forego fees now associated with Twitter’s verification badges.

The Washington Post and CNN announced they would not pay for staffers’ blue check status, Politico reported Saturday.

The White House has also said it will not pay for staff’s official Twitter profiles’ continued verification, according to Axios.

“It is our understanding that Twitter Blue does not provide person-level verification as a service,” White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty told staffers in an email sent Friday afternoon, the outlet reported.

“Thus, a blue check mark will now simply serve as a verification that the account is a paid user.”

In his response targeting the NYT, Musk also offered some advice to other outlets.

In addition, he seemed to suggest not all of the NYT’s followers were legitimate.

It is unclear whether Musk was suggesting some of the outlets’ followers were bots, were purchased, or were not “real” in some other fashion.

“They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles,” Musk said.

“The same applies to all publications,” he added.

READ MORE: Elon Musk Humiliates Biden for Trying to Brag about Admin: ‘The Banks Are Melting’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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