Twitter owner Elon Musk on Friday gave further details on which users would keep their blue checkmarks once the platform begins revoking legacy verified badges in April, a much-maligned move purportedly designed to increase trust in the platform as it rolls out its new paid for verification system worldwide.
Any Twitter account linked to a verified organization will be “automatically verified,” Musk tweeted on Friday.
According to Twitter’s website, verified organizations can nominate “any individual or entity associated with them” such as leadership, support handles, employees and brands.
Linked users will receive one of Twitter’s color-coded verification badges alongside an “affiliate badge,” a small image of the parent company’s profile picture that will take users directly to the affiliated organization if clicked, Twitter said.
While organizations can nominate as many affiliates as they want, each user will cost them an extra $50 a month on top of the $1,000-a-month Verified Organizations subscription fee, excluding tax.
Individual users not connected to an organization willing to list them as an affiliate can keep their blue verification tick by purchasing their own subscription to Twitter Blue for $8 a month or $84 a year.
Musk’s announcement comes as Twitter prepares to finally dismantle its “legacy” verified program, which on Thursday it said will begin “winding down” on April 1. The free program was used to authenticate “notable” accounts belonging to users like celebrities, politicians, influencers, and journalists, as well as accounts belonging to broader entities like companies, brands and governments. Musk has been heavily criticized for his decision to replace the former system, which required users to validate their identity and affiliation, with a system that merely verifies those who pay to subscribe. This system, called Twitter Blue, is now available worldwide, the company confirmed on Thursday, though many promised features are missing. While Musk has made his intention to do away with legacy verified accounts clear, the legacy system has remained in place for months following the platform’s disastrous early attempts to introduce paid verification. In the absence of sufficiently rigorous checks and balances, havoc engulfed the platform as it was inundated with accounts impersonating high-profile figures and companies including pharma giant Eli Lilly, Nintendo, Lebron James and former President Donald Trump. Musk himself, as well as his car company Tesla, were also mimicked.
What We Don’t Know
Musk has been saying the rollback of legacy accounts has been just around the corner since taking control of Twitter last October. The billionaire is a well known troll and the date, April Fools’ Day, could indicate a joke or just weaving an amusing date into a business announcement. Musk has previously woven jokes involving the numbers 420 and 69 into business announcements. Respectively, the figures are popular references to marijuana and a sex act.
$192.6 billion. That’s Musk’s estimated net worth, according to Forbes’ real time tracker. After French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault, who Forbes estimates to be worth $216.1 billion, Musk is the richest person in the world. Key portions of Musk’s wealth are tied to electric vehicle maker Tesla, which he cofounded and leads. Musk is also known for his other, typically future-facing ventures, including rocket company SpaceX, tunneling firm The Boring Company and brain tech firm Neuralink.
Meta, parent to Instagram and Facebook, launched its own paid verification system in the U.S. last week. The subscription, which requires users to submit photo ID to Meta, costs $11.99 a month on the web and $14.99 a month on mobile devices. The system was first launched in Australia and New Zealand, where membership nets you increased visibility. The perk is not on offer in the U.S. at the moment, Meta told The Verge.
Elon Musk Says Twitter Is Launching A New Color-Coded Verification Scheme Next Week — Here’s What We Know So Far (Forbes)
How Elon Musk’s tweets unleashed a wave of hate (BBC)
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