Last Updated: April 21, 2023, 03:19 IST
On April 20, Twitter began removing its blue verification checkmarks from user accounts, including those belonging to high-profile figures such as Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey and the Pope.
Under the original blue-check system, Twitter had around 300,000 verified users, including journalists, athletes, and public figures.
The checks, which previously signified that the account was verified by Twitter as legitimate, started disappearing from these users’ profiles in the late morning Pacific Time.
Why did this happen
Twitter CEO Elon Musk, who bought the platform for $44 billion, had pledged to abolish the “lords and peasants” system and sell the blue badge for $8 a month.
Musk had described the move as a means to “democratize journalism and empower the voice of the people.” Earlier attempts to roll back the blue ticks had failed to materialize.
To maintain the marks, the expenses vary from $8 per month for individual web users to a minimum of $1,000 per month to authenticate an organization, in addition to a monthly fee of $50 for each affiliate or employee account.
Unlike the prior blue check, which was dispensed during Twitter’s pre-Musk administration, individual accounts are not verified by Twitter.
After-effect of paid blue
Twitter has recently faced criticism from various news organizations objecting to labels on their accounts indicating they were “state affiliated” or “government funded.” Public radio Sveriges Radio said it would stop tweeting following the footsteps of NPR and CBC.
Musk’s ownership of Twitter has spared widespread debate, with some of the advertisers leaving the platform, and users complaining of misinformation.
(With agency inputs)
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