Twitter strips NY Times of blue ‘legacy’ checkmark, Elon Musk likens paper’s feed to ‘diarrhea’

True to his word, Twitter CEO Elon Musk has begun taking down legacy verified checkmarks on his social media platform, and he decided to start with one of the world’s best-known newspapers: The New York Times.

The move to strip accounts of their checkmarks shouldn’t surprise anyone.

On March 23, Twitter Verified announced that the company would be doing just that.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks,” Twitter tweeted.

Those who want to keep their verified status will have to pony up eight bucks per month for the new “Twitter Blue” service.

But making The Times, which boasts 54.9 million followers, among the first casualties of the policy feels almost personal.

Musk has long criticized the paper for being little more than a mouthpiece of the Democratic party.

“It is tragic how far The New York Times has fallen – basically just boring af far left brainwashing at this point,” he tweeted back in November. “The boring part is truly unforgivable!”

The following month, he called the paper “an unregistered lobbying firm for far left politicians” and suggested it should “rename itself The Social Justice Times.”

On Saturday, Musk took his thoughts on the newspaper a step further, comparing its articles to “propaganda” and its Twitter feed to “diarrhea.”

“The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” he tweeted.

“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea,” he added in a follow-up post. “It’s unreadable.”

“They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles,” he wrote. “Same applies to all publications.”

On Friday, The Times called the onset of the Twitter Blue rules the “Blue Check Apocalypse.”

“The blue check mark on Twitter has long conferred a special status. Only certain accounts — typically those of public figures whose identities were confirmed — have been bestowed the symbol,” the paper stated. “Now that is changing.”

The Old Gray Lady made clear that it would not be paying the service fee.

“The New York Times, which has nearly 55 million followers on Twitter, said on Thursday that it would not pay for the verified badge for its institutional accounts, including @nytimes,” it wrote. “The Times also told its journalists that it would not reimburse them for a Twitter Blue subscription, except in rare cases when it was necessary for reporting.”

Clearly, Musk was not concerned.

The “special status” was unceremoniously stripped from the newspaper’s account.

Still, people had questions.

“But how will we know if it’s the official diarrhea now?” asked actor Eddie Alfano.

Others cheered Musk for his take on The Times.

And still more blasted The Times for refusing to pay the fee.

“I know I’m coming across as Checkmark Man these days, but other people keep saying stupid things,” tweeted one user. “If the New York Times is really concerned about appearing authentic, they can pay $1,000 per month and verify their organization and all their employees.”

“When people leave, their Times verification can be taken away; when new people join, they can have it added to their account,” the user continued. “Why shouldn’t it be an organization’s responsibility to verify its own employees?”


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Melissa Fine


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