The new owner of the Twitter platform, American billionaire Elon Musk, sparked widespread controversy on social media platforms, after news circulated about his intention to impose money in exchange for the blue verification mark granted by Twitter, just days after he took over one of the most influential communication platforms in the world.
This decision was met with a lot of criticism, which considered that it would reduce the number of trusted accounts in favor of fake accounts and that this contradicted Musk’s repeatedly declared desire to fight against them.
Twitter will give users with a blue tick 90 days to subscribe to the paid Twitter Blue service or lose their tag.
The Twitter Blue service will also change to include authentication and other additional services for subscribers, with subscription prices raised from $5 per month to $20.
According to internal correspondence between employees seen by the site, employees working on the project were told on Sunday, inside the company, that they needed to get the matter done before the seventh of next November, or they would be fired.
The news of imposing fees on authenticated accounts as soon as it spread was widely popular across the platforms before Musk himself confirmed it via tweets on his account, where he told one of the users earlier that all verification marks are subject to review.
On Monday morning, he sarcastically commented on one of the activists, who transmitted the news, saying, “All our diabolical plans have been revealed.”
This news provoked angry responses on the communication platforms, as some considered it the beginning of the spread of more lies and fake content across the platform.
On the other hand, tweeters commented that the goal of the authentication mark is to increase the number of secured people on the platform, in light of the spread of false accounts and statements around the Internet.
Cosmologist Katie Mack commented, via her Twitter account, saying, “The point of Twitter verification is that for some individuals and organizations it is useful to be able to verify that their statements are from them, and the blue tick is supposed to help combat misinformation, but it is not A status symbol”.
She added that this does not mean that verification in Twitter was always applied logically and fairly, it has been bad in some things for a long time, but turning it into paid money will make it worse.
Tweeters denounced Twitter’s attempt to impose restrictions on authentication tags, despite the platform’s need to increase its numbers rather than reduce those accounts, noting that linking them to money does not seem logical because it will lose its value as evidence of reliability.
Activists and bloggers on the communication platforms also discussed the supposed subscription price, as some considered it unacceptable, and it is expected that it will not witness a great turnout by users, which means that thousands of their marks will be lost once the deadline expires.
Journalist Ian Melheiser commented, via his Twitter account, that he does not imagine that many will pay $ 240 per year for the service, which will support the presence of many fake accounts, which Musk claimed he desired to eliminate.
Musk had raised a lot of controversy in the recent days since taking over the presidency of Twitter, as he dismissed in his first hours a large number of executives in the company, and also issued new decisions regarding content and supervision.
Tesla CEO Musk hasn’t made a final decision, and the project could still be scrapped, but according to the platform, verification will likely become part of the Twitter blue checkmark.
The blue tick was launched in June of last year as the platform’s first subscription service that provides “exclusive access to premium features” on a monthly subscription basis, including the ability to edit tweets.
The feature to edit tweets was also introduced earlier this month after Musk insisted on using a poll conducted on Twitter last April that asked millions of his followers if they wanted a button to edit tweets. And more than 70% agreed with that.
It is noteworthy that billionaire Musk completed his acquisition of Twitter for $ 44 billion late last Thursday evening, and then tweeted, “The bird is free.”