November 2, 2022 – Elon Musk has proposed charging $8 a month for verified accounts on Twitter, attracting backlash from users.
Musk, who completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter last week, has been the leading subject of headlines around the world for his various plans for the social networking platform. From promising to promote “free speech” to introducing a content moderation council, Musk has attracted concerns from digital rights advocates, tech experts and users over the uncertainty surrounding the right to expression on one of the world’s most influential social media platforms.
In his latest series of tweet, the billionaire shared his plans to charge users $8 for “Twitter Blue”, describing the current system for handing out blue check marks using an expletive.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
According to Musk, subscribers will get priority in replies, mentions and search, and the ability to post longer audio and video content with half as many ads as regular users. He added that publishers willing to work with Twitter will get to bypass the paywall. “This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.”
The billionaire says the measure will bring “power to the people” and the charges for blue check marks will be adjusted for other countries.
Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
A number of questions have piled up around Musk’s proposal regarding the paid verification process. Some users demand to know how Twitter will tackle impersonators who can conveniently pay the charges and others question how the measure will help Twitter catch spam or bot accounts when there will be multiple blue badges under the same profiles.
So I can create an account with an celebrity name, pay 8$ and everyone will believe I am actually this person.
How on earth will this help in the fight against spam/impersonating on social media?
Same for journalists:
No more verification who is reliable and who is not.
— Dario Schramm (@darioschramm) November 1, 2022
The original purpose of the checkmark was to verify people who have multiple fake accounts. Why would you take that away if people don't pay? Just seems to defeat the entire purpose.
— Chris Fronzak (@FRONZ1LLA) November 1, 2022
What happens to people impersonating accounts? The whole verification process was to make sure that person you are following is legit. Seems like this is going to be terrible from a safety point of view.
— Squiddy (@iBallisticSquid) November 1, 2022
Elon, this negates the whole idea behind the blue checkmark, which verifies that an account is official or legitimate. Users can already pay $4.99/month to get the benefits of Twitter Blue — this would simply be “Enhanced Twitter Blue” for $8. That’s fine, if that’s your intent.
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) November 1, 2022
The blue check allows people to know that tweets are coming from verified journalists or public figures.
That reduces the spread of misinformation.
Putting a price sticker on verification will promote misinformation and the hellscape you promised to avoid.
— Michael J. Stern (@MichaelJStern1) November 2, 2022
So I'd imagine that Twitter Blue would have mandatory verification? I'm not against any of this (Even the price). But I wonder what the steps are to prevent people from pretending to be someone else, even after payment?
I understand the goal is to deal with spam/scam
— Eric July (@EricDJuly) November 1, 2022
How will Twitter verification ensure that people aren't just impersonators or parody accounts? Let's say a bunch of creators lose their checks because they don't want to pay. What's stopping people from impersonating them, paying for verification, and tweeting fake info?
— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) November 1, 2022
Musk made sweeping changes across the board at Twitter after closing the deal last week. He fired top executives, including then CEO Parag Agrawal and CSO Ned Segal, and subsequently announced the revamping of the verification process on the platform. There have been reports of mass resignations from senior staff members in the wake of advertisers’ uncertainty over the future of company operations under Musk.