X bringing headlines back to news links

X owner Elon Musk has had a change of heart about the platform’s new headline policy after his own recent post didn’t make sense.

The social platform is backtracking from the October decision to stop showing headlines for links posted on the site. “In an upcoming release, X will overlay the title in the upper portion of the image of a URL card,” Musk said in a post.

Currently, news article links posted on X retain just the lead image from the story and the name of a source domain.

The move to strip the headlines was announced in August after Musk said it would make the posts look better. He tweeted at the time: “This is coming from me directly. Will greatly improve the esthetics.”

While it was speculated that the initiative was an attempt by Musk to get users to spend more time on X, it was also a reflection of his hostility towards news organizations.

It now appears that the folly of the design has become clear to the billionaire himself after he posted a link to a Reuters article on a letter from former OpenAI staffers slamming the company’s reinstated boss, Sam Altman.

With the caption only reading “Extremely concerning!” and no added context, it was not clear what the post was about.

Screenshot from X

The reversal comes after major advertisers, including IBM, Apple, and Disney, as well as government organizations such as the European Commission, suspended ads on X over the proliferation of antisemitic content.

Following Musk’s resharing of an antisemitic conspiracy theory as the “actual truth,” President Joe Biden joined Meta’s rival Threads, as did Vice President Kamala Harris and a number of other official accounts linked to his administration.

The White House has rebuked Musk for “antisemitic rhetoric” on X, but the billionaire remained unapologetic, saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Musk followed up by suing the left-leaning pressure group Media Matters for America for claiming advertiser content was displayed next to pro-Nazi posts on X.

He also doubled down on his attacks against the news media, posting on X: “Legacy media companies are desperately trying to kill this platform by any means possible.”

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