On October 4th Elon Musk Altered the price for verified Twitter users from 20$ to 8$
This news comes after the Tesla Mogul implemented a variety of changes to the company, including firing its CEO, CFO, and a variety of high-level staff. By requiring users to pay for verification it creates a higher barrier to entry for users to become verified on the platform.
Musk said in a tweet Wednesday that if accounts verified under his new system engage in “spam/scam/impersonation, they’ll be suspended, but Twitter will keep their money!” The platform will continue to put a tag under public figures and corporations similar to the one formerly used for elected and public officials.
Although the move may seem practical the heightened barrier to entry may be too steep for some users. “In fact, this is making Twitter a pay-for-play system, and we know that propagandists, people working to spread disinformation and other forms of manipulation via Twitter, are very much willing and able to finance their operations,” said Samuel Woolley, assistant professor at the University of Texas School of Information and author of the book “Bots.” “Most of the propagandists that social media companies are most worried about, like the Russian government, the Chinese government, extremist groups, have a lot of resources,” he said.
As well, users will be required to give Twitter access to their bank information, a risk that some users may be unwilling to take, especially due to the multiple security breaches Twitter has had during its tenure as a social media giant.
Considering that Twitter is an international company, many users throughout the globe do not have access to banking services. This will effectively remove the possibility of certain users ever obtaining verification under the new Twitter model under Musk.
As with social media as a whole, there is a risk of impersonation for a verified user. Many celebrities have faced situations where individual attempts to obtain verification using their information on social media platforms. The paid model will encourage users to attempt to impersonate celebrities and ay to use their names for a verified account.
The verification system may also introduce a tiered speech system, contrary to the goals of Musk who said his reason for buying Twitter was to encourage free speech. In this system verified users will be treated to more exposure due to their willingness to pay Twitter money in exchange for verification.
“You’re really saying that the free speech of people who pay is more important than the free speech of people who can’t,” said Jessica Gonzales, co-CEO of media accountability Free Press. ” “I actually told him … that I think that $8 a month is highly problematic.”
The many arguments were reinforced by the results of a poll issued by Musk ally Jason Calacanis, which showed that 81% of respondents wouldn’t pay for a blue check. “Interesting,” Musk responded.
Musk seemingly does not care about the wishes of Twitter users throughout the globe, saying in a tweet: “To all the complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8.”
Paid verification will continue to be a trending topic until the institution of what Musk calls “Twitter Blue”. Undoubtedly Twitter as a platform will never be the same as it was under its previous ownership.
Published by HOLR Magazine