For $8 a month, you can now buy a blue checkmark on Twitter ‘just like the celebrities’


Twitter on Saturday launched a subscription service for $8 US a month that features a blue checkmark now given to verified accounts as new proprietor Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system simply forward of U.S. midterm elections.

In an replace to Apple iOS units, Twitter stated customers who “join now” can obtain the blue checkmark subsequent to their names “simply like the celebrities, corporations and politicians you already observe.” So far, verified accounts don’t seem like shedding their checks.

Anyone with the ability to get the blue test might result in confusion and the rise of disinformation forward of Tuesday’s elections if doable impostors pay for the subscription and use the names of politicians and election officers. Along with widespread layoffs that started Friday, many concern the social platform that public businesses, election boards, police departments and information shops use to maintain individuals reliably knowledgeable might grow to be lawless if content material moderation and verification are chipped away.

The change represents the finish of Twitter’s present verification system, which was launched in 2009 to stop impersonations of high-profile accounts comparable to celebrities and politicians. Before the overhaul, Twitter earlier than the overhaul had about 423,000 verified accounts, a lot of them rank-and-file journalists from round the globe that the firm verified no matter what number of followers that they had.

Experts have raised severe considerations about upending the platform’s verification system which, whereas not excellent, has helped Twitter’s 238 million every day customers decide whether or not the accounts they had been getting info from had been genuine. 

Current verified accounts embrace celebrities, athletes, influencers and different high-profile public figures, together with authorities businesses and politicians worldwide, journalists and information shops, activists, and companies and types.

People stroll outdoors Twitter headquarters in San Francisco on Friday. (Jeff Chiu/The Associated Press)

The replace Twitter made to the iOS model of its app doesn’t point out verification as a part of the new “blue test” system.

Musk, who had earlier stated he desires to “confirm all people” on Twitter, has floated that public figures could be recognized in methods apart from the blue test. Currently, as an example, authorities officers are recognized with textual content underneath names stating they’re posting from an official authorities account. President Joe Biden’s @POTUS account, for instance, says in gray letters it belongs to a “United States authorities official.”

Massive employees layoffs

The change comes a day after the firm started shedding staff to chop prices and as extra corporations are pausing promoting on Twitter as a cautious company world waits to see the way it will function underneath its new proprietor.

About half of the firm’s employees of seven,500 was let go, tweeted Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of security & integrity.

He stated the firm’s front-line content material moderation employees was the group the least affected by the job cuts and that “efforts on election integrity — together with dangerous misinformation that can suppress the vote and combatting state-backed info operations — stay a prime precedence.”

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey on Saturday took blame for such widespread job losses. He had two runs as CEO of Twitter, with the most up-to-date stretching from 2015 into 2021.

“I personal the duty for why everyone seems to be on this scenario: I grew the firm dimension too shortly,” he tweeted. “I apologize for that.”

Musk tweeted late Friday that there was no alternative however to chop the jobs “when the firm is shedding over $4M/day.” He didn’t present particulars on the every day losses at the firm and stated staff who misplaced their jobs had been supplied three months’ pay as a severance.

Meanwhile, Twitter has already seen “a large drop in income” due to strain from activist teams on advertisers to get off the platform, Musk tweeted Friday. That hits Twitter exhausting due to its heavy reliance on promoting to generate income. During the first six months of this 12 months, almost $92 of each $100 it made in income got here from promoting.

United Airlines grew to become the newest main model to pause promoting on Twitter. The Chicago-based firm confirmed Saturday that it had made the transfer however declined to debate the causes for it or what it might must see to continue promoting on the platform.

WATCH | Musk begins reducing Twitter’s international workforce: 

Elon Musk begins plan to chop half Twitter’s international workforce

Newly minted Twitter CEO Elon Musk has begun pushing ahead along with his plan to chop as a lot as half of the firm’s international workforce, starting with widespread layoffs at the social media firm on Friday.

It joined the rising checklist of huge corporations pausing adverts on Twitter, together with General Motors, REI, General Mills and Audi.

Musk tried to reassure advertisers final week, saying Twitter wouldn’t grow to be a “free-for-all hellscape” due to what he calls his dedication to free speech.

But considerations stay about whether or not a lighter contact on content material moderation at Twitter will lead to customers sending out extra offensive tweets. That might damage corporations’ manufacturers if their commercials seem subsequent to them.


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