Twitter removed the “verified” badge from the main account of The New York Times on Sunday, a move billionaire Elon Musk quickly executed after learning the news organization would not pay for the account’s verification service.
The newspaper attributed this step to Musk’s years-long grudge against American journalists who wrote critical reports about him.
And The Times first reported on Thursday that the badges would be kept for her organization and its 10,000 members, regardless of whether they paid or not, in a sign of its willingness to negotiate.
Twitter said it would begin ending its traditional verification program starting Saturday, removing the blue checkmark codes it had applied for years to accounts of verified companies, journalists and public figures.
Twitter is implementing a pay-for-verification system that would give out a badge to anyone who would pay for it, a process that generates much-needed money for the company to offset falling ad revenue and pay off billions of dollars in debt.
Verifying user accounts will cost around $8 per month, while companies that want a verification badge will be charged $1,000 per month.
By Sunday morning, The New York Times (the 24th most followed account on Twitter, with more than 54 million followers) was one of a few dozen accounts that had already had their verification badges removed, according to data collected by Travis Brown, a developer of bots. the changes.
The move appears to have been personally directed or encouraged by Musk, who responded late Saturday night to the New York Times’ decision not to pay for verification by saying, “Okay, we’re going to remove the authentication badge.”
The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news organizations said Thursday that they will not pay for a verification badge to their news organizations or journalists, although the Times said there may be some rare exceptions where the badge could be “necessary for reporting purposes.” .