X, formerly Twitter, strips headlines from news story links to improve their look
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X, formerly Twitter, strips headlines from news story links to improve their look

Elon Musk plans to remove headlines from news articles shared on X

The alteration took place after its owner, Elon Musk, announced plans to enhance the platform’s visual appeal. This decision comes in light of growing concerns about the platform’s growing unfriendliness toward news organizations.

X, previously recognized as Twitter, has implemented a modification that omits headlines accompanying posted links. This alteration comes in response to a statement by site proprietor Elon Musk, who believes it enhances the visual appeal of posts.

Consequently, links shared on Twitter will now display as an image extracted from the linked article, accompanied by a text snippet in the image’s left-hand corner indicating the link’s domain. To access the linked page, users must click on the image, which appears only slightly distinct from regular images uploaded to the platform.

This change was rolled out on Wednesday, initially for iOS and desktop users. Notably, this new presentation does not seem to extend to advertisement links.

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The decision to remove headlines from links had been in motion since August. Following reports in Fortune about this planned change, Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly Twitter), personally confirmed it, stating, “This is coming directly from me and will significantly enhance the platform’s aesthetics.”

Since Musk assumed control nearly a year ago, X has become less accommodating to news organizations. While it wasn’t a major source of traffic for many news sites, it was widely used by media organizations and reporters for news sharing and gathering. However, reports suggest that traffic from X has declined since the ownership change. In recent months, NPR and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) have reduced their reliance on the platform.

The ABC attributed its decision to toxic interactions on X and better engagement on other platforms. In response, Musk accused the organization of censorship.

Back in August, X briefly introduced a five-second delay for loading links to news sites and competitors such as Reuters, the New York Times, Instagram, and Blue Sky.

Musk recently stated that he “almost never reads traditional news sources anymore” and mentioned that the X algorithm is designed to discourage external links to keep users on the platform longer.

The Financial Times reported last week that X’s CEO, Linda Yaccarino, is scheduled to meet with the banks that financed Musk’s $13 billion purchase of Twitter last year to discuss plans for reviving the company after advertisers left the service.

Also Read | X working on game streaming, online shopping

Last month, Musk had threatened to sue the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) over lost revenue, claiming that advertisers were pressured to withdraw ads by the US civil rights group. He accused the ADL of attempting to shut down his company by falsely accusing it and him of being antisemitic.

In response, the ADL stood by its research, highlighting serious issues with antisemitism and extremism on X and other platforms. However, the ADL clarified that X had expressed its intent to address antisemitism and hate on the platform in recent weeks. The ADL refuted the allegation that it had orchestrated a boycott of X or caused billions of dollars in losses to the company, stating that these claims were false.

Musk expressed gratitude to the ADL for clarifying its support for advertising on X and for purchasing advertising on the platform.

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