High-profile Twitter users will almost certainly have to pay $8 per month to keep or acquire their blue checkmarks, which the platform has long used to identify users whose identities have been verified.
Elon Musk, the new owner, stated that “Twitter’s current lords and peasants system for who has or does not have a blue checkmark is bullshit.” Power to the people! Blue for $8 per month.”
While some users, including Stephen King, have objected to the idea of charging for something that was previously free, Musk stated that those who pay will receive priority “in replies, mentions, and search,” which he claims is necessary to reduce spam, as well as the ability to post long video and audio and “half as many ads.”
He also mentioned a “paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us.”
“Yes, this will destroy the bots,” Musk wrote. “If a paid Blue account engages in spam/scam, that account will be suspended. Essentially, this raises the cost of crime on Twitter by several orders of magnitude.”
In response to revelations of the plans, author Stephen King tweeted, “$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that; they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I am gone like Enron.”
“We need to pay the bills somehow!” Musk responded. Twitter cannot rely solely on advertisers. “How about $8?”
King’s feelings are shared by many other users who were outraged by the decision. According to some critics, the blue checkmark was never meant to be a status symbol but rather to serve as proof of identity for journalists and public figures on the site.
If the verification of the blue checkmark is replaced by payment, scammers and irony-laced parody accounts can easily impersonate other accounts on Twitter.
Demanding that verified accounts pay Twitter for the right to display a blue checkmark as a result seemed counter-intuitive to many observers; the idea appears to be extremely unpopular, with many users defying it.
For instance, Tea Leoni and Toni Braxton have sworn off Twitter. The platform’s future and whether it would serve as a platform for hate speech were their main concerns.
For Musk’s part, he has been too busy attending Halloween parties and watching his space company launch a massive rocket to take into account all the criticism.
“I will explain the rationale in the longer form before this is implemented,” Musk wrote in his salvo to King. “It is the only way to defeat the bots and trolls.”