Twitter users are opposing rumored plans to charge a monthly fee for users to maintain their verified status with a blue checkmark. Elon Musk assumed control of Twitter on Thursday, October 27, following the completion of his US$44 billion (£38 billion) purchase of the social media company.
The officials of Twitter have reportedly been debating modifications to the website, including a proposal to charge up to $20 per month for Twitter Blue, a subscription service that verifies users. Twitter has not officially endorsed the new strategy yet, although Musk wrote on October 30 that the verification process is undergoing modifications.
In his newsletter Platformer, former The Verge editor Casey Newton warned users that they might have to pay to subscribe to Twitter Blue or risk losing their verified blue tick badges.
Some famous people who have badges, though, have opposed the notion of paying to maintain their verified status.
Kathy Burke, a comedian, attacked Musk and said he should compensate her for her platform content instead.
She posted, “Musk can f*** off with his idea of charging blue tickers. I give my all to this hell site for FREE. Cheeky b**** should be paying ME. I do not need the poxy thing, anyway. He may take our vibes, but he will never take our memedom!”
In response to the news, graphic designer Rob Sheridan, best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, said: “So most of the good useful people on here who are verified will reject this. All the very worst people will pay for it, making it even harder to identify reliable information and returning us to the days of rampant impersonator accounts.”
The comedian and TV writer Franchesca Ramsey claimed that the only reason she has verified status is “solely because I have dealt with folks impersonating me for the purpose of trolling or harassment”.
Ramsey explained, “I do not see it as anything special or desirable. Unless paid verification comes with new special features, I cannot imagine why anyone would pay for it.”
The co-writer of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story script, Gary Whitta, labeled Musk a “Dollar Store Ozymandias.” He said charging confirmed users for their status is “a crackpot idea”.
Whitta added that the crazy idea “is born of him having the worst possible interpretation of what verification is – an ego-boosting status symbol to be flaunted by the user rather than a small piece of ID security for the benefit of all”.
“Being verified was fun while it lasted,” social media influencer Jack Mull added. “Not a chance I am paying US$20 a month for Twitter Blue just to keep the blue tick.”
Other prominent people who have not been able to obtain verified status, such as OJ Simpson, have expressed support for the Twitter takeover. Simpson, who was accused and acquitted in the 1990s for the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, complimented Musk on his new acquisition.
“Maybe now I can get verified,” he tweeted.
Donald Trump, a former US president and banned Twitter user praised the new management.
“I am happy that Twitter is now in sane hands and no longer run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country,” Trump posted on his own social media site, Truth Social.
In 2009, Twitter first used the “Verified Accounts” service. It came as a result of a lawsuit filed by American baseball coach Tony La Russa against imposter accounts. Users must provide identification documentation, and the account must be “authentic, notable, and active” to be verified.