Twitter's Blue Ticks Controversy: Elon Musk's U-Turn on Verification Badges for Celebrities

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has decided to cease publishing service alerts to its Twitter account, which has over 1 million followers. The decision followed Twitter’s suspension of the MTA’s access to the platform’s back-end without warning. The suspension was the second in two weeks, prompting senior executives to agree to stop publishing service alerts to the platform altogether. The MTA’s decision puts it among a growing number of accounts that have reduced their Twitter presence or left the platform since Elon Musk’s takeover.

One reason behind the decision was the rising cost of Twitter’s application programming interface (API) access, which is used by accounts that post frequent alerts, such as transit and weather agencies. Twitter recently announced a new pricing system that could charge up to $50,000 a month, which could be too high for the MTA. The agency faces a multi-billion dollar deficit and is committed to bringing ridership back without having to pay for communicating service alerts to customers.

Another reason cited by MTA officials was Twitter’s added vitriol and move away from a chronological timeline. The officials also want to push customers toward in-house products, such as a pair of apps known as MYmta and TrainTime. These apps provide times for the subway and commuter rail systems, respectively. Riders can seek information on Twitter, but consumer research suggests that they account for a relatively narrow slice of riders.

The MTA’s decision to scale back its use of Twitter comes as many institutional users of the platform struggle with changes made by Musk in an effort to make the service profitable. Twitter’s warning that accounts that do not pay for API access will see their service “deprecate” has caused concern among other transit agencies. The Bay Area Rapid Transit System announced that its alerts were temporarily unavailable due to technological issues, and the Chicago Transit Authority is considering ending alerts due to Twitter’s diminished effectiveness for real-time transit information.

MTA officials are also concerned that the move away from Twitter could affect the personalization and real-time responses to questions and concerns offered by the MTA’s customer service agents on the platform. Last month, the agency sent out 21,000 replies on Twitter, responses that offered a valuable public window into the MTA’s customer service policy. For now, the agency will continue to respond to customers on Twitter, but officials acknowledged there are no guarantees about whether that will remain the case long term.

Mike Hunt

A writer and reviewer with good experience in the field of technology. He worked for a long time in technology news sites. He is interested in all news, mobile phones and modern technology. He has a strong resume. He works for us as a writer and reviewer. You can contact him via e-mail: [email protected]

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