Several different news agencies have taken a stand against paying for verification in light of Twitter’s new policies under the ownership of Elon Musk. ESPN has followed a similar path, but not entirely.
In a statement to Awful Announcing, an ESPN spokesman stated that any individual reporters will have to pay out of their own pockets for verification. The ESPN company accounts, though, are a different story. The decisions on those will be made following an ongoing “beta test.”
“ESPN will not be reimbursing talent if they choose to purchase Twitter verification…As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for ‘Verified Organizations’. No decisions will be made until that is concluding.”
"As for the company accounts we, along with several other companies, continue to be in a beta test for 'Verified Organizations'. No decisions will be made until that is concluding." (2/2)
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) March 31, 2023
The Twitter Verified account published a post detailing what “Verified Organizations” means.
Verified Organizations is a new way for organizations and their affiliates to distinguish themselves on Twitter. Rather than relying on Twitter to be the sole arbiter of truth for which accounts should be verified, vetted organizations that sign up for https://t.co/1v6wSVKfDb…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 31, 2023
Earlier on Thursday, CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported that several organizations including the New York Times and Washington Post would neither be reimbursing talent for verification nor having their organizational accounts verified. A Post spokesperson said that the new Twitter Blue verification “no longer represent authority and expertise.”
Reporters not being verified could end up being a big deal.
Even before Twitter Blue was a thing, we’d see imposter accounts for the likes of Adam Schefter, Adrian Wojnarowski and Jeff Passan occasionally fool people with “reports” of fake trades or signings. Twitter Blue and the disappearance of legacy checkmarks will make it easier for the imposter accounts to do that and if those reporters will now be unverified, the fake trades and signings will likely be even more prevalent. It will be interesting to see which ESPN personalities and insiders choose to go without their checkmarks in the new Twitter era.