Twitter starts a subscription service that includes a blue checkmark that is currently only given to verified accounts.
Twitter has launched a subscription service for $7.99 a month that includes a blue check that is now only given to verified accounts, as new owner Elon Musk reviews the platform’s verification system just before midterm elections in the United States.
In an update to Apple’s iOS devices, Twitter said Saturday that users who “sign up now” can receive the blue check next to their names “just like the celebrities, businesses and politicians they already follow.” So far, the verified accounts don’t seem to be losing their checks.
Anyone who can get the blue check could lead to confusion and increased misinformation ahead of Tuesday’s election if impostors decide to pay the subscription and co-opt the names of politicians and election officials.
Coupled with the widespread layoffs that began Friday, many fear the social platform used by public agencies, election boards, police departments and the media to reliably keep people informed could become illegal if removed. content moderation and verification.
The change marks the end of Twitter’s current verification system, which was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonation of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians.
Before the reform, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accounts, many of them from ordinary journalists around the world who were verified by the company regardless of how many followers they had.
Experts have raised serious concerns about the platform’s tampering with the verification system, which, while not perfect, helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine whether the accounts they were getting information from were authentic.
Current verified accounts include celebrities, athletes, influencers, and other high-profile public figures, along with government agencies and politicians from around the world, journalists and media outlets, activists, as well as companies and brands.
Also on Saturday, UN human rights chief Volker Turk urged Musk to ensure that respect for human rights is central to the social network, in an open letter.
“Like all businesses, Twitter needs to understand the harms associated with its platform and take steps to address them. Respect for our shared human rights must establish the guardrails for the use and evolution of the platform. In short, I urge you to ensure that human rights are central to the governance of Twitter under your leadership,” Turk wrote.
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