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X, formerly known as Twitter, strips headlines from news articles shared by users

Instead of seeing a headline along with a picture, users now see only a picture with a small watermark.

ELON MUSK’S SOCIAL media platform X has stripped headlines from news articles shared by users, in a move likely to further worsen relations with media groups.

The tycoon has long railed against the “legacy media” and claims X, formerly Twitter, is a better source of information.

However, he said the latest change was for “aesthetic” reasons – news and other links now appear only as pictures with no accompanying text.

Musk took over Twitter last year in a $44 billion deal and has since renamed it X, sacked thousands of staff and drawn criticism for allowing banned conspiracy theorists and extremists back on the platform, sending advertisers fleeing.

He has also banned – and reinstated – various journalists with mainstream outlets including the Washington Post and CNN, as well as appearing to delay posts from accounts including the New York Times.

Some media groups have stopped posting to X altogether.

AFP and other French news outlets launched a legal case in early August accusing X of copyright breaches.

“I almost never read legacy news anymore,” Musk posted on Tuesday.

“What’s the point of reading 1,000 words about something that was already posted on X several days ago?”

When the changes to links were first mooted in August, he posted: “This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.”

The most recent changes appear to have been introduced gradually this week.

Instead of seeing a headline along with a picture, users now see only a picture with a small watermark.

Some users have already commented that it is now difficult to distinguish between news and other kinds of information, which is likely to raise questions about the trustworthiness of the site.

In September, the European Commission said X had a higher ratio of misinformation and disinformation than any other social media.

© AFP 2023

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