Twitter owner Elon Musk appears to be taking the Silicon Valley adage of “move fast and break things” to a new level of speed and destruction. The drama has been most evident in the platform’s payment verification system which was launched last week and has already proven to be a huge headache for Twitter and a shit show for regular users.
After first announcing plans to an $8 paid verification systemTwitter has gone through a whirlwind of multiple versions of the system before arriving at its current incarnation. Just this week, Twitter tried to add a gray “Official” checkmark for certain government officials, media and major brands before pulling quickly the characteristic. In the latest version of verification, everyone gets a blue checkmark, but if you click the icon on each Twitter profile, it will say whether they were verified because they’re a public identity or they paid the money for the privilege.
And with Showing documents Recent layoffs have eliminated much of Twitter’s engineering capacity, these constant changes and upgrades to existing systems must be exhausting for those still with the company.
As a reminder, verified accounts were originally introduced to prevent users from posing as public figures. The platform had already been sued for facilitating these fakes, so Musk has to walk a tightrope between monetizing the blue checkmark and claiming the site is safe for public figures, and more importantly, advertisers. If only they could get Musk himself to take the situation a little more seriously.
Those who purchase the blue check mark show that they have “an active Twitter Blue subscription,” but their tweets now also appear in the new Twitter verified section in Twitter notifications. Tthe pay blue check mark is currently is not available to Android or Twitter.com users, but anyone who pays can bookmark folders, add topics and undo tweets, between Other features.
This system has obvious drawbacks, especially since it’s not clear at first glance which accounts were pre-verified before Musk came along and which were bought. Thursday, Twitter quietly changed its Twitter Blue policy to stop any account created after November 1. 9 to subscribe to Twitter Blue. Those who buy your check can’t change their display name either, and the company says it will implement a new process for changing names “soon.”
Two Twitter users, Will Seagar and Walter Lim, have even created a chrome extension called “Eight Dollars” which will modify Twitter’s verification so that it is immediately apparent who was officially verified and who paid for their verification mark.
Meanwhile, there are also persistent accounts on Twitter that have been routinely cited for hate campaigns and attacks that have bought their way to the blue checkmark. As of the report, many well-known far-right Twitter accounts are still active and verified, although some have been hidden with warnings that “this profile may contain potentially sensitive content.” These accounts are especially dangerous, as verification can make their messages even more conspicuous.
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