Elon Musk Twitter has announced one of the first drastic changes since buying the company for £37.9 billion on Friday – overhauling the social media website’s verification process. Used to ensure authenticity – and users are starting to be charged a fee to hold or receive the Blue Tig – and among those rebelling against the idea are verified tennis stars.
On Tuesday, Musk said Twitter would bring ‘power to the people’ by scrapping the current verification request system and charging £6.96 a month for verification.
He Tweeted: “Twitter’s current system of lords and peasants is b******t for those who have or don’t have a blue check mark. Power to the people! $8/month blue. Country price adjusted to match purchasing power parity.
“You’ll get: replies, mentions and priority in search – which is essential to defeat spam/scam – the ability to post longer video and audio, half-size ads and paywall bypass for publishers who want to work with us. This gives Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators. Name a public figure Below will be a secondary tag, which already applies to politicians.”
This amazing thread has accumulated 58,000 retweets, 42,000 quote tweets and 478,000 likes. Tennis legend Martina Navratilova and former star Alexander Tolkopolov are among the many public figures to have reacted to the plans, and it’s safe to say they’re content to lose their blue under the new regime.
Navratilova replied: “I didn’t ask for the blue check mark – it just showed up one day, so feel free to take it. My peeps know it’s me.” Tolkobolov replied: “So blue check is the power these days… No thanks. Not paying 8 or 1$ for it.”
Since revealing his plans for paid verification, Musk has been in his own humor with a series of tweets mocking those unhappy with the planned changes. On Wednesday morning, he asked: “All the complainers, keep complaining, but it will cost $8.”
Twitter’s plan to add a secondary tag to public figures’ accounts will help separate those who buy verification from others. But there are still concerns about the risk of impersonation – something the current system struggles against – and how easy it would be if someone on stage bore a blue tick.
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