The New York Times Declines to Pay for Twitter Verification, Loses Its Checkmark

The New York Times building is shown on Oct. 21, 2009, in New York. The New York Times is
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The New York Times has lost its Twitter verified checkmark after refusing to pay the site’s fee for verification.

Reuters reported a spokesperson for the Times said Sunday the company would decline to pay the fee to retain its verified checkmark after losing its verified status.

The Times also indicated in the statement it would generally not cover verification costs for its journalists.

“We also will not reimburse reporters for Twitter Blue for personal accounts,” the spokesperson said, “except in rare instances where this status would be essential for reporting purposes.”

Twitter announced from an official account on March 23 it would “begin winding down” its policy of honoring legacy verifications.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here,” the company wrote.

Twitter further explained the rationale behind introducing a new verification feature just for organizations in a March 30 tweet, explaining the move will allow organizations to verify other accounts affiliated with the organization.

“Verified Organizations is a new way for organizations and their affiliates to distinguish themselves on Twitter,” the company wrote. “Rather than relying on Twitter to be the sole arbiter of truth for which accounts should be verified, vetted organizations that sign up for Verified Organizations are in full control of vetting and verifying accounts they’re affiliated with.”

On Saturday, the Times reported on Twitter’s policy change.

“Individual users must buy a subscription to Twitter’s Blue service, which costs $8 a month, to obtain the badge,” the piece read. “Businesses that are currently unverified will have to pay $1,000 a month if they want a gold check mark verifying their account.”

Early Sunday morning, Twitter CEO Elon Musk seemingly referenced the Times’ decision, writing, “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting.”

“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable,” he added in another tweet. “They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications.”

You can follow Michael Foster on Twitter at @realmfoster.


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