Twitter is a social media platform allowing users to share short messages, or “tweets,” up to 280 characters. Users can follow other accounts to see their tweets in a timeline. They can also use hashtags and mentions to interact with other users and participate in conversations around specific topics. Twitter is used by individuals, businesses, and organizations worldwide to share news, information, and opinions with their followers and stay up-to-date on current events and trends.
Exactly a year ago today, Elon Musk made headlines by expressing his interest in purchasing Twitter. It was my first day on the job, and it was quite an eventful start. Since then, I have been frequently asked if Twitter will fail, and I used to answer with a “no confidently”. However, my stance has shifted due to several reasons.
We are currently witnessing the emergence of a new Twitter. Verified accounts will no longer have a blue tick to prove their authenticity, but because they are paying a monthly subscription fee. While there is a verification process involved in the payment, there have been instances of fake accounts choosing to pay to impersonate high-profile individuals and organizations.
Earlier this month, personal finance guru Martin Lewis uncovered a subscribed account in his name that was promoting a cryptocurrency scam to thousands of followers. The report was fraudulent and had nothing to do with him.
On Saturday, Twitter reinstated blue ticks on specific media, celebrity, and other high-profile accounts. However, many of the recipients expressed their disapproval of the move. Blue ticks, once a free indication of authenticity and popularity, now require a monthly subscription fee of $8.
As part of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Blue” strategy to generate new revenue, non-paying accounts that previously had a blue tick lost their verification on Thursday, according to Travis Brown, a software developer in Berlin who monitors social media platforms, less than 5% of the 407,000 affected profiles subscribed to the new payment model.
on my soul i didn’t pay for twitter blue, u will feel my wrath tesla man!— pussy (@LilNasX) April 22, 2023
Over the weekend, several high-profile figures, including author Stephen King, NBA star LeBron James, and former US President Donald Trump, had their blue ticks reinstated on Twitter without any apparent action on their part.
Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that he was personally paying for a few subscriptions. However, American rapper Lil Nas X, who has a blue tick on his profile, denied paying for the Twitter Blue subscription and warned Elon Musk that he would face the consequences.
It needs to be clarified how or why certain accounts had their blue ticks reinstated and whether Twitter plans to implement any changes to its verification process in the future.
Several deceased celebrities, including US chef Anthony Bourdain, also had their accounts verified with a blue tick. Official media accounts, such as AFP, were also confirmed, despite not subscribing to Twitter Blue.
Good lord, I’ve been LeBroned, Shatnered, Kinged without my consent. No means no, boys. pic.twitter.com/XnbMVydOqW— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) April 22, 2023
After Elon Musk criticized The New York Times as “propaganda,” the news organization received back its gold badge this month. This badge is reserved for “official business accounts” that pay at least $1,000 per month. Other significant media groups also have this badge.
However, US public radio NPR and Canada’s public broadcaster CBC did not have their blue ticks reinstated and suspended activity on their accounts. They had protested against Twitter’s labelling of them as “state-affiliated” and “government-funded,” which were previously used for non-independent media funded by autocratic governments. Twitter removed these labels on Friday, including those once applied to China’s official news agency Xinhua and Russia’s RT.
No Means No!
Many verified individuals with a blue tick without consent clarified that they had not subscribed to Twitter Blue and viewed the badge as a symbol of support for Elon Musk.
So my blue check has reappeared. I had nothing to do with that, and am definitely not paying— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) April 23, 2023
Tech journalist Kara Swisher tweeted on Saturday that she had gained the blue tick without her consent and questioned whether Musk loved her for herself or her followers. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman denied subscribing to Twitter Blue.
In response to Krugman’s comment, Musk tweeted an image of a baby crying over a plate of pasta covered in tomato sauce, wearing a bib with a superimposed blue tick.
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