Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter, things on the social media site have been changing swiftly — and not necessarily for the better. Not only have celebrities and regular users been fleeing the service in droves, racism and hate speech has nearly overrun it. Now, the Tesla CEO’s latest move may kill it off altogether. Turns out, Elon Musk wants to make the verified blue tick a free-for-all, paid service.
This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
- Blue tick verification was a way to prove trust. Under its previous ownership, becoming verified on Twitter was about whether or not the account could be trusted. Celebrities and other public figures would get one by proving who they were. Generally speaking, a user could tell that an account with a blue tick was who they said they were. Given how many impersonators and how much fake news makes the rounds on Twitter, this was extremely important.
- Elon Musk thinks the blue tick is elitist. Taking to Twitter (of course) this week, he wrote: Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is b******t.” While it’s unlikely he actually believes that, it’s a great way to frame his new plan.
- Becoming verified on Twitter is now something you can pay for. Elon Musk went on to say that you can be anyone at all and become “verified” moving forward — so long as you pay Twitter $8 per month for the privilege. “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month. Price adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity,” he said. “
- Apparently, there are going to be some added benefits to this. Musk claimed that those who shell out the monthly membership price will get “Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam” as well as “ability to post long video & audio,” fewer ads, and a paywall bypass if any publishers decide to work with Twitter.
- It seems pretty clear that this is a bad idea. By allowing anyone who pays for one to purchase a blue tick, Elon Musk is removing all authority whatsoever from the platform. Fake accounts will crop up like wildfire, with people impersonating celebrities and influencers and perhaps using this feature to scam vulnerable people or spread misinformation. It clearly hasn’t been thought through. It just might prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Twitter before it turns into even more of a toxic cesspool.