Twitter confirms the verification quota of the blue tick after the acquisition of Musk

In an update for Apple devices, the company said the feature would be open to users in select countries who subscribe to its Twitter Blue service for $7.99 (£7) per month.

The policy change was controversial amid fears that the platform could be flooded with fake accounts.

This follows the acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk, who laid off about half of the company’s workforce on Friday.

The coveted blue tick was previously only available to prominent or influential people and organizations – who were asked to verify their identity.

It was used as a sign that a profile is authentic and is an important tool to help users identify reliable information on the platform. The policy change could raise concerns that government figures, celebrities, journalists and brands could be impersonated by a user willing to pay a monthly fee.

Mr Musk, the richest person in the world, appears to be looking to diversify Twitter’s revenues after acquiring the company late last month in a $ 44 billion (£ 39 billion) deal.

On Friday, the billionaire said Twitter was losing more than $ 4 million (£ 3.5 million) a day, noting that this gave him no “choice” to eliminate about half of the company’s 7,500 employees.

The cuts, as well as Musk’s fierce defence of free speech, sparked speculation that Twitter could water down its content moderation efforts.

However, Mr Musk insisted that the company’s stance on harmful materials remains “absolutely unchanged”. On Saturday, a senior UN official, Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk, urged Musk to “ensure that human rights are at the heart of Twitter’s governance.”

The unusual UN intervention indicated the resignation of the entire Twitter human rights team, saying this “was not an encouraging start” under Musk’s ownership.

There were no immediate responses from Twitter.

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Few details were disclosed regarding the verification policy change, and a Twitter Blue subscription reportedly remained at the old UK price of £ 4.99 following the announcement on Saturday. Twitter’s update says the changes will initially only apply in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

A flurry of tweets from Mr Musk himself suggested the changes would be rolled out globally after being seen in early countries.

It was unclear what would happen to profiles that already had a blue tick — or whether Twitter was more intent on “verifying” a user than charging them a subscription.

In response to a user asking what would happen to exist verified profiles, Musk said the timeline for the changes to be implemented was “a few months”.

In response to another question about the risk of users impersonating notables, he replied that Twitter would “suspend the account trying to impersonate and keep the money.” While previewing other upcoming changes, Musk said Twitter will soon allow users to add long text to tweets, “putting an end to the nonsense of notepad screenshots.”

On Saturday, Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey spoke about the mass layoffs and apologized to employees for what had happened at his former company.

Mr. Dorsey, who stepped down as CEO in November and left the board in May, said he knew the Twitter staff were “mad at me”.

His statement continued: “I am responsible for why everyone is in this situation: I increased the size of the company too quickly. I apologize for that.”

Mr. Dorsey seemed to approve of the need for layoffs. Earlier this year, he expressed his support for the Musk acquisition.

A number of major brands have stopped advertising spending with Twitter in the past few days amid the company’s turmoil.

Mr. Musk tried to reduce the platform’s reliance on ads, and Saturday’s update also promised “half the ads.”

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