Is X limiting the reach of The New York Times?

  • According to data from NewsWhip, X is reportedly limiting the engagement of posts that feature links to The New York Times.
  • Elon Musk, the owner of X, had the verification of the The New York Times account removed in early April.
  • At the time of writing, other major publications have not seen the same dip in engagement.

Verification remains a divisive element of the new Elon Musk-owned version of Twitter, now branded as X. During April this year X started pulling verification from accounts that were unwilling to pay, although that rule seemingly did not apply to everyone.

One of the casualties in this was The New York Times, which at the time refused to pay for verification it previously earned through its own merit, a decision that stands at the time of writing.

Despite boasting 55 million followers on the platform, the publication has reportedly seen its engagement on X drop significantly since the beginning of July. This according to data from NewsWhip, a social media monitoring firm.

Per Semafor, NewsWhip looked at the X data of 300 000 influential users on the platform, and found that The New York Times was one of the only notable publications to see engagement dip drastically of late, with the likes of the BBC, Washington Post, and CNN, remaining unaffected.

As such, the publication alleges that X is actively limiting the reach of posts on the platform that feature links to The New York Times, with Gizmodo classing it as a shadowban.

“There was a drop off in engagement for NYT compared to the other sites in late July/early August,” NewsWhip spokesperson Benedict Nicholson told Semafor.

Adding credence to the claims is the fact that former US President Barack Obama, who has nearly 132 million followers and is verified too, saw posts in the past week featuring links to the publication only reach 800 000 to 900 000 users on X, which is in stark contrast to posts that did not feature links to The New York Times.

As such, it looks like X is not keen on its users redirecting to The New York Times from its own platform.

As mentioned earlier, the owner of X, Elon Musk, is not a fan of the publication. In a post from early April he said that, “The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting.”

“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable. They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications,” he added in follow up posts.

With X recently emphasising its freedom of speech, not reach policy, it looks like The New York Times has become a prime target.

Needless to say, Elon Musk does not seem to be a fan. Neither the publication, nor the platform, have officially commented on the NewsWhip data and Semafor report.

[Image – Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash]


About Author


Related News