“Power To The People!” | South African Billionaire Elon Musk Sparks Outrage Over Plans To Charge Monthly Fee For Verified Twitter Accounts

 

South African billionaire and new Twitter owner, Elon Musk, has ruffled users after announcing that the microblogging site will start charging verified Twitter accounts.

The wealthiest man in the world bought the company last week, ending months of back and forth over the US$44bn deal. He moved quickly to put his mark on the firm and fired all top executives before dissolving the whole board.

 

Elon Musk Verified Twitter
Elon Musk To Charge Monthly Fee For Verified Twitter Accounts [Image: WSJ]

 

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Yesterday, Musk said he is revamping the whole verification process on Twitter to make it more accessible. He tweeted:

“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullsh*t. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month. Price [will be] adjusted by country proportionate to purchasing power parity. You will also get priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam, the ability to post long video & audio, half as many ads, and a paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us. This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.”

 

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A blue tick mark next to a username – normally for high-profile figures – is currently free.

Twitter’s former method of verifying users for a blue tick included a short online application form. It was reserved for those whose identities were targets for impersonation, such as celebrities, politicians and journalists.

 

Elon Musk Verified Twitter
Elon Musk To Charge Monthly Fee For Verified Twitter Accounts [Image: 9to5Mac]

 

The company introduced the system in 2009 after it faced a lawsuit accusing it of not doing enough to prevent imposter accounts.

Twitter users were critical of the move to charge verified accounts US$8 (R145) monthly and expressed their sentiments:

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@Rubiu5:

“What happens when a random user pays $8 and changes his Display Name to Elon Musk, using your same profile pic and starts tweeting like he’s you? Verified checkmarks exist, so people know they follow the real person.”

@Martina:

“I didn’t ask for the blue check mark- it just showed up one day, so feel free to take it away. My peeps know it’s me.”

@ChrisExcel102:

“So if you lose a blue check, it means you broke….”

@jonesville:

“I was told that speech was going to be free again. 👀”

 

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