NewsWhip data

GOSSIP & RUMORS: Twitter appears to throttle users trying to share New York Times articles for months: report

Elon Musk-owned X has reportedly throttled users trying to share articles produced by the New York Times for the past several months.

The precipitous drop in engagement with content from the Gray Lady has been noticeable since July and seems worse than from other major news providers like Politico and the Washington Post, the news site Semafor reported Friday.

Semafor pointed to data compiled by social media engagement tracking firm NewsWhip, which monitored 300,000 influential users of the site formerly known as Twitter over a five-month period.

A chart provided by NewsWhip shows weekly average shares per article from the influencers dropping from more than 200 in July to less than 50 this month.

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

NewsWhip did not include data from other platforms, like Facebook, however,

The Post reached out to X for comment.

NewsWhip’s data showing a slowdown in article shares at The Times since May 2023.

Throttling websites and delaying access could turn off users, thus affecting traffic figures and dampening ad revenue for those sites.

Despite the hazy details of the report, The Washington Post first reported that X was throttling traffic at multiple websites.

The Times followed up that report with its own story entitled: “X Slows Down Access to Some Rival Sites.”

As part of the story, The Times noted that X delayed links to add on some rival platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as news sites like Reuters and The Times.

Elon Musk
Last month, Musk’s X throttled rival sites and platforms, according to reports.
Getty Images

“Several of the services that were throttled have faced the ire of X’s owner, Elon Musk, The Times wrote, adding that the delay was about 4.5 second — which was “relatively minor” but “still noticeable.”

More recently, Times employees noted on X that some high-profile attempts to share Times articles failed to reach a big audience on the platform.

Semafor reported that earlier this week, former President Barack Obama shared multiple New York Times stories on X about healthcare costs, which the service said reached fewer than 900,000 and 800,000 users respectively.

New York Times building
Semafor reported that X has zeroed in on The Times, and has limited its reach across its platform.

According to the site, that number was far lower than any other post shared by the former president since X began sharing that data publicly earlier this year. For comparison, a Politico story shared by the former president got nearly 13 million views.

Semafor said that Times leadership is aware of the issue and is examining the root of the dropoff.

The Times did not comment.

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