With the recent controversy of Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, the company has confirmed plans to allow users to buy blue-tick verified status. In recent Apple device updates, the company said the feature would be open to users in certain countries who sign up for its Twitter Blue service for $7.99 (£7) per month.
The new policy has caused controversy as there are concerns that the platform could be overwhelmed with fake accounts. The blue tick, which is highly sought after, was previously only available to high-profile individuals and organisations who had to prove their identity.
It has been used as a sign that a profile is authentic and is a key tool to help users identify reliable information on the platform. The policy change may fuel worries that government figures, celebrities, journalists and brands could be impersonated by any user willing to pay a monthly fee.
Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, appears to be looking to diversify Twitter’s income following his acquisition of the firm late last month in a $44bn (£39bn) deal.
On Friday, the billionaire said Twitter was losing more than $4m (£3.5m) per day, insisting that this gave him “no choice” over culling around half the company’s 7,500-strong workforce.
The continued job cuts at Twitter have led to speculation that the company might water down its efforts on content moderation. However, Mr Musk has insisted that the company’s stance towards harmful material remains “absolutely unchanged”.
I find it concerning that Twitter is now allowing just about anyone to buy verified status. I think it takes away from the credibility of the platform and could lead to a lot of fake accounts and impersonations.
I also worry that with the recent changes in leadership, Twitter could start to water down its efforts on content moderation. This would be a shame as Twitter is one of the only social media platforms that I feel is reasonably well-moderated.
I hope that Mr Musk will reconsider some of these changes in the interest of preserving the platform’s integrity.
However, with the good entrepreneurial success of Mr Musk, the world’s richest person, Who knows what the future of Twitter holds? Only time will tell.