Verification on Twitter: Musk takes “New York Times” hook

The US newspaper no longer has a verification hook on Twitter because platform boss Musk harbors grudges against the media. The hook is worth nothing anyway.

Portrait of Elon Musk

Bag the hooks: Twitter boss Elon Musk Photo: Susan Walsh/dpa

From now on, it will be impossible to tell who is real on Twitter. The verification mark, a white tick on a blue circle, used to be an award for users who are particularly prominent on the platform or in analogue life and whose identity has been verified by Twitter. In the meantime, however, you have to buy the hook. The Twitter Blue subscription costs 8 euros per month. Since Monday, an explanatory text next to the hook has shown the following text: “This account is verified because it has Twitter Blue or was verified earlier.”

This “or” devalues ​​the tick in use. Where it used to be clear that a real person or company was behind the respective accounts, it is no longer certain that they simply bought the catch and the algorithmic favoritism that comes with it.

Actually, according to Twitter owner Elon Musk, the old hooks should disappear completely from April 1st. However, this was not implemented – except in one case: the the New York Times. A user had previously pointed out that the NYT don’t want to pay for a hook. Musk replied to that laconic: “Oh, okay, then we’ll just take him away.” Then he attacked the newspaper and publicly wrote on his account: “The real tragedy with @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting. […] Also, her feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. He’s unbelievable.”

Musk is known for his attacks on the press. On the one hand, he keeps posting caricatures and articles that are critical of journalism or hostile to journalism, in which he specifically accuses “mainstream media” in general (meaning established mass media) and individual publications of spreading lies and disinformation. On the other hand, in mid-December, he blocked journalists from Twitter who reported critically about the company. Two weeks ago, he also caused a fundamental change in Twitter’s communication with the press. Press inquiries by e-mail are no longer answered by the communications team, which he already largely laid off after his Twitter takeover in October 2022. Instead, there’s now an auto-response: a turd emoji.

When asked whether Musk would refrain from defaming critical media through public attacks in the future, the communications department of the taz said: “💩”.

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