ABC News: How Twitter’s $8 verification plan works and why it’s facing criticism
ABC News: How Twitter's $8 verification plan works and why it's facing criticism
Elon Musk, who acquired Twitter late last month, has already made dramatic changes: firing top executives, laying off half of the company’s staff and forming a content moderation council that will review account reinstatements.
However, the most consequential policy shift may be a revamp of the site’s signature blue check marks, which signal that an account holder has been verified as the person he or she purports to be.
Twitter announced on Saturday a new version of its subscription service, Twitter Blue, that will allow users to access verification if they pay a monthly fee of $8.
The plan stoked immediate controversy. Some applauded the move as an effort to make verification more inclusive and wean Twitter off a dependence on advertising revenue. While critics slammed the decision as a setback for the policing of hateful and fake content that could drive away users and advertisers alike. …
The rollout of the new subscription offering was planned for Sunday but the company opted to delay the release until Wednesday, the day after the midterm elections, after some users and advocates raised fears over its implications for election integrity.
Emma Steiner, a disinformation analyst at government transparency advocacy group Common Cause, said the new subscription service worsens pre-existing problems that owe to the trust engendered by the platform’s verification model.
“At Twitter, there’s been a long standing disparity between what Twitter says a check mark is for: Authenticity,” Steiner told ABC News. “And what people interpret it as: Authority.”
“The new policy makes this division more confusing,” she added.