Musk Calls New York Times “Propaganda” as He Removes Its Twitter Verification

Over the weekend, self-proclaimed free speech absolutist Elon Musk appeared to personally request the removal of blue check verification for The New York Timeson Twitter as he called the publication’s reporting “propaganda” and its social media feed “diarrhea”.

On Saturday, Twitter was to remove blue checkmarks that, before Musk’s takeover, indicated a user’s identity had been verified. While the verification system was not without flawsMusk further muddied the waters by letting people pay for a verification check, which resulted in widespread confusion, impersonation and website scam.

However, the mass deletion of verified checks never happened. Rather Musk seems to have deleted only The New York Timesso far, while rolling out more features to blur the line between paid and verified users.

The post lost its verified status after a user, DogeDesigner, posted a meme to make fun of The New York Times for announcing that he would not pay for the audit. Two minutes later, Musk replied“Oh ok, we’ll take it off then.”

Less than an hour later, Musk was openly criticizing The New York Timesa long moment right target for his perceived leftist leaning (a skinny than the left has repeatedly said that she is practically non-existent, especially in her recent coverage of transgender people).

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

“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable. They’d have a lot more real followers if they only posted their best stories,” Musk continued, ignoring the fact that reports last year estimated that the vast majority of Musk’s followers were bots. “The same goes for all publications.”

Musk’s criticisms betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how his own website’s algorithm works and how publications structure their social media strategies in general. Posts like The New York Times often don’t aim for every tweet to be served to a user, but rather aim for their content to cast a wide net, knowing that users will receive a curated selection of their posts based on a platform’s algorithm. form.

Criticism of Musk is also an attempt to delegitimize the free press, especially media that might accurately report on the right or Musk’s failings; The temperatureFor example, recently published an article detailing the erratic nature of Tesla’s self-driving feature, which has made the company the target of several lawsuits. The article, which features the opinions of many Musk supporters, raises questions about whether the self-driving feature was rolled out before it was ready for public use.

Only this The temperature lost its verification when this movement was to affect thousands of users then appears as a targeted attack against the publication. As of this writing, outlets like CNN, FoxNews And The Washington Post still have their check marks. Other sections of the Time as its Arts, Food, and Travel sections are also always checked.

Even other top organizations that have said they won’t pay for Twitter Blue – the platform’s paid tick system that is planned to cost organizations $1,000 a month – still have their ticks. But policy And the White House have both said they won’t pay for Twitter Blue, both accounts retain their checkmarks as of this writing.

Another change Twitter implemented over the weekend makes it impossible to know if an organization still has its check mark because it started paying for Twitter Blue. For the past few months, Twitter has allowed users to see if a tick was paid for or resulted from verification – but now the platform doesn’t distinguish between the two, making it even harder to tell. whether an account is real or made by an impersonator.

Later Sunday, Musk derided The temperature for his hypocrisy, saying it’s “unbelievable [sic] hypocritical” for the publication to have its own subscription service while refusing to shell out $12,000 a year for a Twitter tick – apparently in the dark that The temperature has a subscription to offer a service, while Musk has massively devalued the supposed service that a tick is supposed to bring.

Musk’s movement against The temperature comes in the middle of a right turn for the billionaire. Musk has been for a long time a right-winger, though he sometimes posed as a liberal, ostensibly to fit in in Silicon Valley.

But his far-right politics have been on full display in recent months; since taking office, he has implemented policies prefer far right voice, ban journalists who criticized him and giving exclusive far-right personalities access to Twitter’s internal systems to demonstrate his alleged reasoning for changing Twitter’s policies to further favor the right.

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