Twitter CEO Elon Musk mocked the New York Times on Sunday, calling the paper “unread” after it lost its blue verification badge on his social media platform.
“The New York Times is incredibly hypocritical here, because they are so aggressive about forcing everyone to pay their subscription,” Musk wrote in a tweet.
“The real tragedy of the New York Times is that its propaganda is not interesting, and its reporting is like diarrhea on Twitter,” Musk added.
Elon Musk is penalizing the New York Times for refusing to pay for Twitter’s blue flag
And as of Sunday, the blue verification badge no longer appears on the homepage of the Times, which has nearly 55 million followers. Musk responded to the meme Saturday night saying “no one cares” about the Times refusing to pay for verification, writing “Okay we’ll remove the verification badge now.”
And Twitter announced last month that it would begin phasing out the legacy verification system on April 1 and begin removing “legacy” verified blue badges from users who don’t pay for them.
To keep their verified blue checkmarks, users will need to subscribe to Twitter Blue, the platform’s $8 per month subscription service.
The New York Times, along with a number of other news organizations and prominent Twitter users, decided not to pay for the certification mark, which was previously free to prominent newsmakers and news outlets.
In announcing that it will not pay for verification to its journalists, the Times noted that there may be some rare exceptions when the badge is “necessary for reporting purposes,” according to The Washington Post.
Bluebird got off to a rocky start in November after several accounts began impersonating public people and companies, leading the company to halt the subscription service for several weeks before relaunching it the following month.