Twitter’s paid verification rollout suspended until ‘significant spoofing’ stops, says Elon Musk

New Twitter boss Elon Musk has said the company is suspending the relaunch of its paid verification subscription service until it is confident that spoofing will stop.

“Withholding Blue Verified relaunch until there is high confidence in stopping spoofing,” the Tesla titan tweeted on Tuesday.

Mr. Musk, in his tweet, also said that Twitter could use “different color verification” to verify organizations.

Last week, the multi-billionaire and new owner of Twitter said the platform’s $8-a-month Blue subscription would be available again on November 29.

“Punting is relaunching Blue Verified to November 29 to make sure it’s rock solid,” he said last week.

But in a meeting with employees, he reportedly said the launch of the paid verification subscription would be put on hold until there was “high confidence” in protecting against “significant identity theft.” “.

“We could launch it next week. We couldn’t,” Mr. Musk said, according to The Verge.

After its takeover of the social media company for $44 billion last month, the Tesla chief said he would change the microblogging platform’s verification system, providing a blue checkmark to anyone who has paid $8 and are subscribed to Twitter Blue.

He had argued that adding this paid tier to Twitter would help weed out spam and fake accounts, as they wouldn’t be willing to pay to get traction on the site.

Shortly after the $8 subscription service rolled out earlier this month, however, the platform descended into chaos after several users purchased verified badges and began impersonating personalities and public organizations.

“I miss killing Iraqis,” tweeted a “verified” account posing as former US President George W Bush, going on to point out the flaw in the new verification method: “You all miss the dot on the $8 It’s a small price to make this app completely unusable.

Another fake tweet from a “verified” account impersonating pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly appeared to affect its stock price.

“We are delighted to announce that insulin is now free,” the impersonator account tweeted, after which the company’s shares fell 2.2%.

The social media giant has suspended the rollout of its Twitter Blue subscription service after the platform was inundated with a wave of such impostor accounts.

Twitter also responded by suspending thousands of accounts, including that of comedian Kathy Griffin who had turned her profile page into one parodying Mr Musk.

The company also added and removed an “official” gray check mark to differentiate Twitter Blue followers from other important accounts, including government officials, businesses, business partners and major media outlets.

With these changes, the company announced that the meaning of the blue check mark means one of two things: “Either an account has been verified according to the previous verification criteria (active, notable and authentic), or the account has an active blue Twitter subscription.

“Accounts that receive the blue checkmark under a Twitter Blue subscription will not be subject to review to confirm that they meet the active, notable, and authentic criteria that were used in the previous process,” Twitter said. .

At the re-meeting, Mr Musk reportedly told employees that the company may need to give “institutions and businesses” a “different color check”, adding that “it’s still something we’re thinking about”.

He said social media platforms will be vulnerable to bots and trolls “unless there is a payment barrier to dramatically increase the cost of bots and trolls,” The Verge reported, citing a recording Of the reunion.

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