Elon Musk’s social networking platform X has removed headlines from news stories posted by users, a move that is expected to aggravate ties with media organizations.
The tycoon has long railed against “legacy media” and says that X, formerly Twitter, is a better source of information.
He did, however, say that the most recent modification was for “aesthetic” reasons, as news and other links now appear simply as images with no accompanying text.
Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion last year and has since renamed it X, fired thousands of employees, and faced criticism for allowing banned conspiracy theorists and extremists back on the platform, driving advertisers away.
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 a headline and a photo, readers now only see a picture with a little watermark.
Some users have already noted that it is now impossible to distinguish between news and other types of information, raising concerns about the site’s credibility.
According to the European Commission, X has a higher ratio of misinformation and disinformation than any other social media platform.