Twitter/X has abruptly removed the gold “Verified” label from the account of The New York Times, following repeated criticisms of the news organization by owner Elon Musk.
It’s the second time in a year that the Times has seen its checkmark disappear. In April, Musk ordered employees to remove the blue “verified” denotation from the account after learning it would not pay for Twitter Blue.
The gold check, which verifies a business is legitimate, was launched weeks later and one was granted to the Times. Other news organizations, including The Washington Post and Fortune, still sport the gold check.
The move could create additional confusion for users at a time when misinformation, particularly about the war between Israel and Hamas, is on a sharp rise on the social media platform.
Twitter/X did not respond to a query about the move beyond the company’s usual autoreply “Busy now, please check back later.”
The Times has been a frequent target of Musk’s vitriol. Just two months ago, he Tweeted the company supports “calls for genocide” and said “if ever there was a time to cancel that publication, it is now.”
Beyond the back and forth about verification, Musk and Twitter also were caught slowing traffic to The New York Times site earlier this year, with a delay of roughly five seconds before users were able to click through to stories from that organization. The site reversed course after stories about the practice appeared in other news organizations. Other sites impacted by that practice included Bluesky, Substack, Instagram, and Reuters. Musk, who once labeled himself a “free speech absolutist,” has spoken critically of all these sites in the past.
Musk has a long history of interfering with users he doesn’t like on the social media site, none more famous than his ban of the jet tracking tool that alerted people to his travel locations.