As per Semafor’s analysis, data from NewsWhip reveals a significant decline in user engagement with public posts that link to The New York Times website since late July. This phenomenon appears to be unique to The New York Times, as other prominent news outlets such as CNN, the Washington Post, and the BBC have not experienced similar drops in engagement.
According to the report, The New York Times’ visibility remains consistent on Facebook and various other social media platforms. Furthermore, recent tweets by former President Barack Obama containing links to The New York Times have generated less engagement compared to his other tweets. For instance, when Obama shared articles concerning healthcare costs, his posts reached fewer than 800,000 users, a stark contrast to the majority of his posts, which typically reach a minimum of 10 million users.
While the precise cause of this decline in user reach remains unclear, it’s worth noting that this isn’t the first instance where X, linked to Elon Musk, has appeared to impact user engagement. In August, reports emerged of X affecting the loading speed of websites, including Mastodon, Bluesky, Threads, Substack, and, notably, The New York Times. During that time, it seemed that the affected high-profile websites were primarily those that Musk had publicly criticized in the past.
Efforts to obtain comments from both X and The New York Times have been inconclusive at this time.