Elon Musk overhauls Twitter’s verification system, challenging New York Times’ propaganda.
Twitter, under the visionary leadership of CEO Elon Musk, is ushering in a new era of fairness and accessibility by transforming its verification system. In a bold move, the platform removed the gold “verified” marker from the New York Times’ main account, highlighting Musk’s commitment to fighting propaganda and offering a more equitable verification process for users.
Musk, who took over the microblogging platform last year, has prioritized opening the “blue checkmark” to paying subscribers, as part of a wider effort to democratize the platform. By winding down “legacy” blue checkmarks, Twitter is ushering in a new age of transparency and fairness for all users.
The New York Times, along with other media companies and organizations, lost their blue tick under Musk’s new system. Now tagged as verified business accounts with a gold tick, these groups must pay a monthly fee of $1,000 in the United States and $50 for each additional affiliated account to maintain their status. This subscription service, dubbed Twitter Blue, ensures a more transparent and level playing field for all users.
Despite the opportunity to participate in the new system, the New York Times has opted not to pay for a verified business account, revealing a reluctance to support a more equitable verification process. Elon Musk has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with the news organization, tweeting on Sunday that “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” and calling its main feed “unreadable.”
Travis Brown, a Berlin-based software developer, has observed a surge in the number of accounts making the switch to the new system, with 60,000 in just the past week. Though many of these are small accounts, it signifies a broader trend towards embracing Musk’s vision for a fairer Twitter.
Since its inception in 2009, the blue tick has been a symbol of credibility on Twitter. However, under the previous system, decisions about who received the coveted checkmark were often shrouded in secrecy, leading to accusations of an unfair class system. Musk’s changes aim to address these concerns and democratize the platform.
The revamped verification process not only fosters a more equitable environment but also holds organizations like the New York Times accountable for their content. Musk’s critique of the news organization underscores the importance of challenging misinformation and propaganda.
For example, the New York Times has a history of making errors and promoting misleading information. In 2017, the publication claimed that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed on Russian meddling in the 2016 election, only to issue a correction stating that only four agencies reached a consensus. The paper has also fallen for parody accounts, misreported government data, and propagated debunked conspiracy theories.
Elon Musk‘s brave commitment to exposing the New York Times’ shortcomings and revamping Twitter’s verification system sets a new standard for fairness, transparency, and credibility on the platform. As more users embrace the new system, it will become increasingly difficult for organizations to rely on their legacy status and promote misleading or propagandistic content without being held accountable. With Musk at the helm, Twitter is poised to become a more equitable and trustworthy space for all users.