All verified accounts “will be manually authenticated before the check is activated,” Musk tweeted.
Elon Musk’s first major Twitter product was halted after fake accounts spread
The Twitter owner has not elaborated on what manual authentication will entail. Older blue tick social media accounts had to have their identity verified to get the token, and are mainly used by companies, celebrities, journalists, politicians and other public figures. It’s unclear whether Twitter has a system in place to manually authenticate accounts, especially after dramatically reducing its workforce in the past month.
The billionaire took over Twitter last month in a $44 billion deal that he proposed, then tried to cancel and proposed again. Since the acquisition, Twitter’s workforce has been in chaos. Musk has cut roughly half of his jobs, then delivered an ultimatum to the remaining employees to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or quit. Hundreds of employees refused to sign the pledge.
The company’s trust and security team, which is responsible for combating hate speech and policing content on the site, has seen major upheaval under Musk — from executives leaving to carefully crafted decisions being reversed. He seems to make a lot of critical decisions by polling Twitter users. Musk previously reinstated President Donald Trump’s account and plans to reinstate nearly all previously banned accounts after conducting separate polls.
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Several major advertisers have stopped advertising on the site since Musk took over — putting Twitter’s most important source of revenue at risk.
Musk upgraded the old badge system shortly after taking control of the company, rolling out a feature in the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service that allows anyone to pay $7.99 and get a blue check mark on their account, provided they have an Apple ID and phone Number.
But the new paid system quickly went wrong. Accounts were created impersonating public figures, elected officials and brands. Tweets purporting to be from politicians or companies went viral.
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The chaos made it difficult to quickly tell which accounts were valid and which were impersonations, which undermined trust in posts on the site. Twitter has disabled new registrations for the service.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that the company “tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.” He didn’t say exactly what that would mean for accounts that had ticks under the old system, or for accounts interested in paying for Twitter’s subscription service.
He tweeted it “all confirmed individual people will have the same blue check, as the boundary of what constitutes ‘remarkable’ is otherwise too subjective.”
Musk halted a rollout from earlier this month that would have given officially verified accounts a new badge to show they’ve been verified to be who they say they are.
“Apart from the fact that it’s an aesthetic nightmare when you look at the Twitter feed, it’s simply another way to create a two-class system,” he said during a Twitter Spaces audio call.
Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But on the platform, in one reply to another userhe said accounts would be suspended if they engaged in “deliberate impersonation/fraud.”
He added: “We’ll see how it goes.”