Twitter has removed the verified badge from the New York Times’ main account after Elon Musk pushed for its removal. This came after learning that the news organization would not pay for its Twitter Blue service.
Twitter had announced that it would be winding down its traditional verification program starting Saturday, removing the blue check mark icons it had for years applied to the accounts of verified companies, journalists, and public figures. In its place, Twitter is implementing a pay-for-play system that would give the badge to anyone who pays for it.
The New York Times and other news organizations said they would not pay for verification for their journalists or news organizations, and the Times reiterated that it is still not planning to pay for check mark status for its institutional Twitter accounts.
Elon Musk, who has a long-standing feud with US journalists who have been critical of him, was said to be behind the move to remove the badge. This could increase the risk of impersonation and make it more difficult for users to distinguish between legitimate and fake accounts.
The move by Twitter, influenced by Musk, could make it easier for pranksters and trolls to mimic celebrities, companies, and politicians, raising questions about the credibility of Twitter’s verification system.
The change in policy will likely have lasting implications for Twitter and its users, as it could make it more difficult to trust the legitimacy of verified accounts.