Elon Musk says Twitter will get rid of old blue ticks


Blue ticks are about to change on Twitter – again.

Twitter tweeted Friday that it will finally do what new owner Elon Musk has been saying for months — remove the little blue checks, once used to denote notable accounts whose identities were verified, unless users pay $8 a month.

The company said the change will roll out on April 1, leading some to speculate that it could also be an elaborate April Fool’s joke.

Still, some users reported seeing a popup when logging into Twitter warning them to subscribe to Twitter Blue to avoid losing their chin.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shortly after taking over the company for $44 billion last October, Musk said he would expand an existing paid version of Twitter to include paying for a blue tick — verification once reserved for celebrities, writers, journalists, executives directors and others whom Twitter had controlled.

Elon Musk’s first major Twitter product was halted after fake accounts spread

Experts have expressed concern that Musk’s new plan for blue ticks could lead to confusion within the app about whether accounts really have their identities verified.

Musk tweeted on Friday that “any individual’s Twitter account associated with a verified organization is automatically verified.” Organizations can verify their accounts for $1,000 a month, according to the post. Twitter’s information page about verified organizations suggests that it costs $50 for affiliates to also receive a badge.

Twitter’s new paid check badge system breaks different accounts down with different colors – organizations receive a gold badge, individuals get blue and governments are noted with a gray check.

The initial launch of Musk’s new paid blue tick led to imitations by major brands and celebrities. Twitter quickly rolled back the new Twitter Blue and didn’t relaunch it for a month, after which it said accounts would be “manually authenticated” before getting a tick.

Twitter said it fixed “verification”. So I impersonated a senator (again).

Twitter has been in turmoil since Musk took over the company and cut thousands of jobs. The billionaire has more than 130 million followers on Twitter and uses the platform to make company announcements and voice his opinions on politics, free speech and memes.

Since Musk took over, the site has suffered multiple outages, in some cases as minor changes to Twitter’s code appeared to break the site. Earlier this month, thousands of users were unable to access links and images on the site.

“The code stack is extremely crazy for no good reason,” Musk tweeted at the time. “Will eventually need a complete rewrite.”

Musk’s leadership has been met with resentment from some, who feared growing hate speech on the site and a lack of safety railings, especially after layoffs and departures left Twitter with a skeletal Trust and Safety team. But others have praised Musk’s stated commitment to allowing more “free speech” on the site.

Musk has committed to making public Twitter’s decision-making process about which content to boost. He has argued that accounts that engage in hateful tweets will not have the visibility of others, even if their content remains on the site, adopting a policy he calls “freedom of speech but not freedom of reach.”

He tweeted last week that Twitter would “open source” all the software code it uses to recommend tweets on March 31, a day before Twitter has said it will strip non-paying users of their blue checks.

He expects there to be hiccups in the short term amid the flurry of changes.

“People will discover a lot of stupid things, but we fix problems as soon as they are found!” Musk wrote. “Providing code transparency will be incredibly embarrassing at first, but should lead to rapid improvement in recommendation quality. Most importantly, we hope to earn your trust.”

Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report.

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