Twitter has dropped the labels “government-funded” or “state-affiliated”, which led to several news outlets stopping tweeting. Elon Musk, when asked why Twitter dropped the labels said it was because Walter Isaacson is the author of , his upcoming biographical book. According to NPR reporter Bobby Allyn, this “suggestion’ came from Isaacson.
The labels are already gone from the profiles for NPR PBS CBC and BBC. All of these media outlets publicly criticized this move. NPR was the first major media organisation to abandon Twitter after being labeled as “state-affiliated”. PBS and CBC followed.
State-controlled media outlets like Russia RT or China Xinhua News have also removed the labels. Twitter appears to have scrapped all of its rules for media labeling, since has removed the page that once detailed its criteria for adding labels. This page is available at the Internet Archive.
NPR, PBS and CBC have not said if they will continue to use Twitter after the labels were removed. In a written statement to The CBC spokesperson Leon Mar said that the organization was “reviewing” this latest development, and would be “placing our Twitter accounts on pause.”
Musk’s sudden decision to remove labels from news organizations on Twitter came less than one day after the platforms started removing legacy verified checkmarks, and required users to pay. This rule doesn’t seem to apply to all. Musk provided a Blue checkmark for free to Twitter critics LeBron James, and Stephen King.
Beyonce was among the high-profile users to lose their blue checks on Thursday, along with Pope Francis, Oprah, and Donald Trump, former president.
The cost of maintaining the marks varies from $8 per month for an individual web user to $1,000 for an organization. Each affiliate or employee will also pay $50 per month. Twitter does not check individual accounts as it did with the blue check that was given out under the old administration.
Celebrity users, including basketball star LeBron James, author Stephen King, and Star Trek’s William Shatner have refused to join — though on Thursday all three accounts had blue check marks indicating they paid for verification.
King is one of those who said that he had not paid.
My Twitter account shows that I have subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account shows that I have given a number. King tweeted on Thursday: “I haven’t.” Just so you know.