Mehul Reuben DasNov 22, 2022 16:54:25 IST
At a recent all-hands meeting at Twitter, Elon Musk announced that he will be postponing the relaunch of Twitter Blue or the paid verification programme indefinitely. The only condition where he is comfortable in relaunching Twitter Blue, is when they’re confident about significant impersonations not happening.
One of Musk’s first big changes to Twitter after taking over was to introduce a revamped Twitter Blue, which gave users the ability to buy a Twitter Verified Blue checkmark, along with a bunch of bundled features.
Despite internal warnings from Twitter’s own trust and safety staff, the Musk-led rollout quickly led to rampant impersonation of high-profile accounts, including those of Twitter’s advertisers. In fact, some of Twitter’s most prominent accounts were so rampantly impersonated, including Musk’s that the situation soon got out of hand. A pharmaceutical company actually lost billions after an impersonated account sent out a tweet that made their stock crash.
Twitter Blue subscriptions, or mainly, the Paid Verification programme was turned off just two days later. Clearly, the execution of Musk’s plan was a mess.
Last week, Musk announced that his team would be relaunching the service by November 29. In Monday’s meeting with the 2700 remaining Twitter employees, however, Musk announced that Twitter “might launch it (paid verification) next week, or not.” He added, “But we’re not going to launch until there’s high confidence in protecting against those significant impersonations.”
“Any given social media platform, in my view doesn’t matter what it is, is going to be vulnerable to bots and trolls unless there is some payment barrier to increase the cost of bots and trolls significantly,” he said.
Although it is still unclear how Musk plans on battling the impersonation of major corporate advertisers and organisations, one theory that has emerged among people following the matter closely, is the usage of different colours of badges.
Since Musk took over and announced that verification can be bought on the platform, Twitter has been adding and removing separate, grey checkmarks and labels on high-profile accounts without explanation.
Musk said the company will “probably” need to give “institutions and companies” a “different colour check” but didn’t elaborate, noting that “this is still something we’re thinking through.”