'We aren't planning to pay': News organizations refuse to purchase Twitter verification at Musk's demand

'We aren't planning to pay': News organizations refuse to purchase Twitter verification at Musk's demand

Major news outlets are declining to pay for the once sought-after blue checkmark on Twitter, CNN reports.

Once "a way to tell real accounts from fake one," Mashable reports, since Elon Musk became Chief Executive Officer, the checkmark — which used to be free — has turned into "a status symbol, which users can get if they opt for the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription."

Per CNN, the platform will start "removing legacy verified checkmarks" on April 1, as "Musk has aimed to charge organizations that want to retain a checkmark adjacent to their account name $1,000 a month, plus an additional $50 a month for each affiliated account."

READ MORE: Elon Musk’s 'blundering stupidity' is 'flushing Twitter down the sink': major tech news site

According to CNN, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, POLITICO, and Vox rejected "the notion on Thursday that they would pay Twitter for the feature."

Sara Yasin, managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, said, "Some of you may be wondering whether or not the L.A. Times will pay for Twitter Blue subscriptions, and the answer right now is no, for several reasons: First of all, verification no longer establishes authority or credibility, instead it will only mean that someone has paid for a Twitter Blue subscription."

Per CNN, Karolina Waclawiak, editor in chief of BuzzFeed News said, "As an organization, we will not cover fees for individuals to keep their blue checkmarks moving forward," while Danielle Belton, editor in chief of HuffPost, told staffers of both publications, "There are several reasons for this, but one outweighs them all: a blue checkmark no longer means the handle is 'verified.'"

A spokesperson for the New York Times said, "We aren't planning to pay the monthly fee for check mark status for our institutional Twitter accounts. We also will not reimburse reporters for Twitter Blue for personal accounts, except in rare instances where this status would be essential for reporting purposes."

READ MORE: 'Radical change' hits Twitter as value drops more than $20 billion under Elon Musk's leadership

Additionally, CNN confirmed the organization will not pay for verification.

Athan Stephanopoulos, CNN's chief digital officer, wrote to staff, "As of right now, we do not plan to pay for Twitter Blue subscriptions for either our brand or individual accounts, except for a small number of select teams who need this verification as an essential part of newsgathering and reporting."

READ MORE: 'Direct threat to action': How climate misinformation plagues Twitter under Elon Musk's leadership

CNN's full report is available at this link. Mashable's report is here (subscription required).

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