Twitter has begun to remove verification badges from previously verified accounts, including that of The New York Times, after announcing that the badges would be part of a paid subscription service from April 1st. Despite almost 55 million followers, The New York Times, along with other organizations and celebrities, declined to pay the monthly fee to maintain their blue verification badge, leading to Elon Musk launching a tirade of insults at the newspaper on Twitter.
Under Twitter’s new rules, blue ticks will be removed from accounts that do not pay the subscription fee, which is $8 per month for individual accounts and $1,000 per month for businesses seeking a gold tick. This has raised concerns that it will be difficult to distinguish genuine accounts from impersonators.
The removal of the blue ticks is reportedly happening gradually and may be a manual process. Some accounts, such as those belonging to CNN, the LA Times, and the Washington Post, have opted for gold ticks. It is unclear whether all organizations must pay for the subscription service to retain verification badges, although an internal Twitter document cited by the New York Times suggests that the 10,000 most-followed accounts will be exempt.