Twitter announced a subscription service for 8 dollars a month which includes a blue checkmark Until now, it was granted only to verified accountswhile its new owner, Elon Muskrenew the platform verification system just before the United States midterm elections.
In an update for Apple iOS devices available in United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United KingdomTwitter said that users who “subscribe now” will be able to receive the blue checkmark next to their names, “just like the celebrities, businesses and politicians you already follow.”
However, Esther Crawford, a Twitter employee, tweeted on Saturday that “the new Blue is not yet available; the race to our release continues, but some people may see us making updates because we’re testing and pushing changes in real time.” Verified accounts didn’t seem to be losing their marks so far.
The possibility that anyone could get the blue checkmark could lead to confusion and a surge in misinformation ahead of Tuesday’s election, but Musk tweeted Saturday in response to a question about the risk of imposters posing as verified profiles. , such as politicians and election officials, that “Twitter will suspend the account for attempted phishing and keep the money”.
“So if scammers want to do this a million times, that’s just a bunch of free money,” he said.
However, many fear that the widespread layoffs that began on Friday could affect the content verification and moderation system of the social platform that public agencies, electoral boards, police departments and the media use to keep the population informed.
The change will spell the end of Twitter’s current verification system that was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians. Before the change, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accountsmany of them from journalists around the world who were verified by the company no matter how many followers they had.
Experts have raised serious concerns about a change to the verification system on the platform that, while not perfect, has helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine whether the accounts they’ve received information from are authentic. The verified accounts Current ones include celebrities, athletes, and influencers, as well as government agencies and politicians from around the world, journalists and media outlets, activists, companies and brands, and Musk himself.
“He knows the blue checkmark has value and he’s trying to exploit it quickly,” said Jennifer Grygiel, an associate professor of communication at Syracuse University and an expert on social media. “You need to gain people’s trust before you can sell them something.”.
Twitter’s update to the iOS version of its app doesn’t mention verification as part of its new “blue checkmark” system. Until now, the update is not available on Android devices.
Musk, who previously said he wants to “verify all humans” on Twitter, has claimed that public figures they will be identified in a way other than the blue mark. Currently, for example, government officials are identified by text below their names indicating that they are posting from an official government account.
The US President’s @POTUS account Joe Bidenfor example, indicates in gray letters that it belongs to a “United States government official.”
Lewis Hamiltonseven times Formula One champion and who has 7.8 million followers on Twittersaid to the AP: “I could just delete my Twitter account, I never use it. I find it very healthy to eliminate social networks off my phone for periods of time.”
“But it’s also a really powerful tool for connecting with people, so I appreciate it and try to use it as that and not something that throws me off the path I’m on in life,” she added.
The announcement was made a day after the company began lay off employees to cut costs and when more companies are pausing their Twitter ads pending how the platform will operate under its new owner.
About half of the 7,500 Twitter employees were laid offYoel Roth, chief security and integrity officer, tweeted.
He said the company’s front-line content moderation staff was the group least affected by the cuts and that “efforts in election integrity — including damaging misinformation that can suppress voting and combating government-backed information operations State—remain a top priority.”
The co-founder of Twitter joe dorsey on Saturday took the blame for those firings.
“I am responsible for the situation everyone is in: I grew the company too fast,” he tweeted on Saturday. “I apologize for that”.
Musk tweeted Friday night that he had no choice but to cut those jobs, “while the company is losing 4 million dollars a day”. He did not elaborate on daily losses at the company, saying employees who lost their jobs were offered three months severance pay.
He also said that Twitter has registered “a massive drop in income” as advertisers face pressure from activists to leave the platform, which relies heavily on advertising to make money.
United Airlines became the latest major brand to temporarily suspend its advertising on Twitter on Saturday, joining companies such as General Motors, REI, General Mills and Audi.
Musk tried to reassure advertisers last week that Twitter will not turn into “everyone hell” because of what he calls its commitment to free speech.
(With information from The Associated Press)