The New York Times Loses Twitter Verification Badge as the Platform Updates Its Policies
In a recent announcement, Twitter declared its new policy for keeping verification badges, removing the verified check-mark status of accounts that Twitter had verified as notable before Elon Musk’s takeover unless they have subscribed to Twitter Blue or the business-focused Twitter Verified Organizations plan. As a result of this new policy, on Sunday, The New York Times, one of the leading media houses in the United States, lost its verification badge on Twitter.
Twitter introduced verified accounts in 2009 to help users identify that celebrities, politicians, companies and brands, news organisations, and other accounts “of public interest” were genuine, not impostors or parody accounts. The company did not charge for verification previously. However, after Musk’s takeover of Twitter, he launched Twitter Blue with the check-mark badge as one of the premium perks within two weeks of the company’s takeover. The only individual Twitter users who will have verified blue checkmarks are those paying for Twitter Blue, which in the US costs $8/month via the web and $11/month through the in-app payment on iOS and Android.
For companies and brands, Twitter recently introduced a gold check mark and shifted government accounts to a grey check mark. A subscription to the social network’s new Twitter Verified Organizations program in the US will be the only way to keep a gold or grey check-mark badge, costing $1,000/month (plus tax) and $50/month (plus tax) for each additional affiliate subaccount.
The White House also informed its staffers that they will have to spend on their own to keep the blue verification checkmarks on Twitter. As per the New York Post, the members of the White House will not be subscribing to Twitter Blue. Individuals like NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who won the Super Bowl, and NBA superstar LeBron James are also refusing to continue paying the monthly price to be verified.
After Musk took over Twitter, the microblogging site has been adding and removing separate, grey checkmarks on high-profile accounts without explaining the reason. Musk’s plan also resulted in the impersonation of high-profile accounts, including Twitter’s advertisers, as per The Verge report.
Twitter has not yet revealed how it will deal with the accounts of people who have “notable” mentioned on it. Nevertheless, the new policy for keeping verification badges has led to a change in how users perceive their accounts’ authenticity, and it remains to be seen how these updates will impact Twitter’s user base.