Elon Musk called the New York Times “hypocritical” on Sunday over the newspaper’s decision not to buy a Twitter Blue subscription while charging subscriptions for its own content. The big difference, of course, is that subscribers to the New York Times get access to thousands of the paper’s articles, while a subscription to Twitter Blue gets you a blue check mark that doesn’t actually do anything since anyone can buy one for $8.
“NY Times is being incredible hypocritical here, as they are super aggressive about forcing everyone to pay *their* subscription,” Musk tweeted Sunday afternoon.
Musk stripped the New York Times of its check mark after calling the newspaper “propaganda” on Saturday. The Twitter CEO was apparently upset about reports that the New York Times would not be paying $1,000 per month for a check mark, the going rate for businesses and organizations to receive a check mark on the platform. Individuals can pay $8 per month for the check mark, but adoption has been low, according to multiple reports.
“The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” Musk tweeted on Saturday.
“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable. They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications,” Musk continued with his colorful language.
The Twitter check mark system was introduced in 2009 after Tony La Russa filed a lawsuit against the social media company when an impersonator account was pretending to be the baseball legend. The check mark could only be acquired by notable accounts and Twitter actually verified that the user was who they said they were by requiring proof of identification. Twitter stopped verifying users when Musk took over back in October 2022 and the check mark doesn’t actually signify anything anymore beyond the fact that a person has $8 to spend.
While the main account for the New York Times has been stripped of its check mark, other Times accounts still have their check marks as of this writing, including New York Times Arts, New York Times Games, New York Times Music and New York Times Books, among others.
I reached out to Twitter on Sunday afternoon for comment, but was met with a poop emoji, as you can see above. All reporters now get that automated response to all press inquires. Musk reportedly abolished the company’s PR department when he took over last year.