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In a bizarre turn of events, Twitter embarked on a mission to divest verified check marks from accounts unwilling to pay for their nascent subscription service. Curiously, a multitude of verified accounts clung to their check marks, but The New York Times faced a different fate.

The illustrious newspaper’s primary account, boasting 54.9 million followers, found itself stripped of verification. This unexpected change occurred after Elon Musk, Twitter’s CEO, declared via tweet that the account would lose its emblem due to the Times’ refusal to pay.

Musk’s proclamation surfaced as a retort to a tweet from DogeDesigner, who ridiculed the Times for their reluctance to pay for verification. Later, Musk lambasted the Times, dubbing their reporting “propaganda” and their feed akin to “the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea.”

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Contrastingly, other New York Times accounts—New York Times World, NYT Science, and New York Times Opinion—held onto their verified status. Twitter remained tight-lipped on the matter.

The Times resolutely announced it had no intention of paying the monthly fee for check marks on institutional accounts or reimbursing reporters seeking to maintain check marks on personal accounts, save for rare reporting-related scenarios.

A medley of prominent news organizations, encompassing CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Politico, and Vox, echoed this sentiment, vowing not to pay for check marks tied to their brands’ accounts or those of most reporters.

Enter Twitter Blue, the firm’s subscription service, which levies a fee of $8 per month for individuals and $1,000 per month for organizations to retain their check marks. Subscribers enjoy perks such as increased visibility in replies and appearances in Twitter’s “For You” feed.

Musk previously asserted that Twitter Blue’s purpose was to augment revenue and stave off trolls and bots. Yet, security experts express concern that it may intensify disinformation and impersonation. The service’s current criteria for accounts include being nondeceptive, active, and aged over 30 days.

A mere 3.6% of previously verified accounts had subscribed to Twitter Blue as of Sunday, revealed Travis Brown, a programmer and ex-Twitter employee. Musk has a history of criticizing the Times’ reporting, and when queried about his preferred news sources, enigmatically responded: “This.”


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Hello, my name is Alexander Holmes. I take great pride in my profession as a journalist and do my best to create top quality impactful stories that bring positive change to the world. With over a decade of experience, I am committed to uncovering the truth and raising awareness of important things.


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