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Business News/ News / World/  Twitter removes ‘gold verified mark’ from New York Times main account
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Twitter removes ‘gold verified mark’ from New York Times main account

Twitter announced it would start winding down ‘legacy’ blue checkmarks from April 1.

New York Times loses Twitter verification on main account. Premium
New York Times loses Twitter verification on main account.

Twitter has removed the ‘gold verified marker’ from the New York Times main account. This comes after CEO Elon Musk bashed the news organization as ‘propaganda’ on Sunday and the platform transitioned to a paid verification scheme.  

The billionaire took over the microblogging platform last October and made a priority of opening the blue checkmark, indicating an authentic account to paying subscribers, according to the news agency AFP. 

The social media site announced it would start winding down ‘legacy’ blue checkmarks from April 1.

The New York Times was among news media companies, firms, and charities that had already lost their blue tick and were tagged as verified business accounts with a gold tick under Musk's new system.

These groups would have to pay a monthly fee of $1,000 in the United States, and $50 for each additional affiliated account to retain the gold tick after the rollout of the subscription service dubbed Twitter Blue. 

The New York Times refused to pay for a verified business account and said that it would subscribe for a blue tick only for journalists finding it essential for their reporting needs.

As of Sunday, the organization's main account, with nearly 55 million followers, had lost its gold checkmark, though affiliate accounts, such as for its travel and opinion sections, retained the ticks, AFP reported.

Many media groups and personalities who also announced they would not pay for Twitter Blue, including basketball star LeBron James, have retained blue or gold checkmarks on their accounts.

In the early hours of Sunday, Musk targeted the New York Times in several tweets, saying, "The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn't even interesting" and calling its main feed the "equivalent of diarrhea" and "unreadable."

According to Travis Brown, a Berlin-based software developer who tracks social-media platforms, only a few dozen accounts have so far been unverified, suspended or had profile elements removed since Saturday.

He said there had been a recent jump in the number of accounts that had made the switch from legacy to the new system -- some 60,000 in the past week -- but that they were ‘mostly small accounts and very few had legacy verification’, as per AFP reports. 

Since its creation in 2009, the blue tick became a signature element that helped the platform become a trusted forum for newsmakers and campaigners.

But Musk and his fans said the decision of who got the coveted checkmark was made by fiat in a secretive procedure, and they called it a symbol of an unfair class system.


(With AFP inputs)

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Published: 03 Apr 2023, 05:59 AM IST
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