After the Elon Musk-owned platform started removing blue verification checkmarks from users who don’t pay a monthly fee, Twitter deleted labels designating international media companies as government-funded or state-affiliated.
National Public Radio in the United States declared last week that it would stop using Twitter after its main account was classified as state-affiliated media—a term also used to describe media outlets controlled or significantly influenced by authoritarian governments, such as those in Russia and China—was among those who were no longer labeled.
NPR, which receives just a tiny portion of its financing from the government, claimed that even after Twitter amended the title to “government-funded media,” it was still deceptive.
Swedish public radio and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation both decided to stop tweeting. Along with the state-affiliated labels on media sites like Sputnik and RT in Russia and Xinhua in China, the CBC’s government-funded designation disappeared on Friday.
On Thursday, many prominent Twitter users lost the blue checks that helped authenticate them and set them apart from imposters.
Under the first blue-check system, Twitter had roughly 300,000 verified users, many journalists, athletes, and public celebrities. The checks formerly indicated that Twitter had confirmed the identity of the account.
On Thursday, prominent users including Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, and former President Donald Trump lost access to their blue checks.
Maintaining the marks varies from $8 per month for lone online users to $1,000 monthly for company verification, plus $50 per month for each affiliate or staff account. As was the case with the prior blue check distributed by the platform’s pre-Musk management, Twitter does not validate the individual accounts.
LeBron James, a basketball player, Stephen King, a writer, and William Shatner from Star Trek have all declined to sign up as users, even though as of Thursday, all three had blue checkmark indicating that the account has paid for verification.
King, for one, said that he was unpaid.
“My Twitter account indicates that I have a Twitter Blue subscription. I didn’t. According to my Twitter profile, I provided a phone number. King tweeted on Thursday, “I haven’t.