Verified Accounts On Twitter Spread The Most Disinformation…. And Elon Goes After The New York Times Again

One of Elon Musk’s first acts after taking over Twitter was to get people to pay $8 a month to be a verified user as he’s never been a fan of how verification worked on the platform. And he needed the money. But according to AdWeek, this has turned into a dumpster fire. Here’s why I say that:

The platform’s “verified” users, who now pay to have a blue check, pushed 74% of X’s most viral false Israel-Hamas war-related claims, according to a NewsGuard analysis shared with Adweek.

“This is another nail in the coffin for X in terms of deteriorating advertisers’ trust,” said Ruben Schreurs, chief strategy officer at independent marketing and media consultancy Ebiquity. “And they’re enforcing their decision not to return to X.”

You have to wonder how Elon and his puppet CEO Linda Yaccarino are going to react to this. This gives zero incentive to any advertiser to use the platform for their marketing. Because nobody wants to be associated with a platform that spreads disinformation. Especially if Elon himself helps to spread it.

Speaking of Elon, he’s been at war with the New York Times and any other media outlet that he doesn’t like. At one point he pulled their verification badge earlier this year. And yesterday, he’s done it again:

The social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, has removed the gold “verified” badge from the New York Times’ account amid ongoing complaints about the news organization from X owner Elon Musk. 

The badge was the only symbol distinguishing the Times’ 55-million-follower account from impostors amid two major global conflicts in Israel and Ukraine. X has hosted and helped amplify a flood of false information related to the Israel-Gaza war, some of which Musk has personally endorsed.

The badge was removed Tuesday without notice, a person familiar with the change said. The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated PressCNNBloombergVox and other news organizations still had their gold badges as of Thursday afternoon. Times accounts related to coverage of world news, health and other subjects still show “verified” badges.

This move highlights why Elon isn’t an honest broker. He claims to want free speech, as long as he like the speech in question. If not, he lashes out. It also highlights that he has the temperament of a two year old. The take home message is that this removes even more value from being on Twitter. Which means that if you’re still using the platform, you should likely reconsider if you should be using it because all of this proves that Twitter is a dying platform. Period.

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