Thursday, March 23, 2023

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after only a few hours, Musk ‘killed’ Twitter’s official checkmarks

Elon Musk claims he “just killed” the deployment hours after it began. The gray checkmarks have vanished from those accounts that only just got them.

Twitter VP Esther Crawford clarified that you’ll still see the marks, but that the social media giant is handing them out to “government and commercial entities” at first. The focus just isn’t on individuals, the executive said.

In justifying the move, Musk reiterated his view that tying the original checkmark to a Twitter Blue subscription will democratize the service. The blue check is the “great leveler,” he said. Crawford, meanwhile, stressed that there were no more “sacred cows” and that Musk was willing to try things that might fail. The company is willing to reverse course if feature changes don’t pan out, to put it differently.

While they indicate that Twitter will concentrate on a narrower group of accounts, it’s now uncertain just when celebrities and other public figures might get (or rather, reclaim) verification. This also creates uncertainty around Twitter’s feature updates — Musk may axe or limit an update even while it’s reaching customers.

It will take some time before it becomes clear just who gets the check marks and what screening will be necessary to get the “official” mark. For now, the only safe assumption is that Twitter will associate its original hashtag with a Blue subscription of $8 per month.

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