Musk says Twitter will relaunch verified service with 3 different check marks
(The Hill) – Elon Musk on Friday said Twitter is tentatively planning to relaunch its paid verification check service next week after delays over impersonation concerns.
Musk indicated the platform will roll out gold checks for companies, grey checks for government accounts and blue checks for individuals.
The new Twitter CEO has garnered controversy for introducing an $8-per-month subscription service that includes a verified check after a series of users quickly leveraged it to impersonate prominent companies and public figures.
The issues led one account posing as pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Company to claim insulin was free, while others impersonated brands like Lockheed Martin and American Girl.
Musk stopped the program and on Monday indicated it would not relaunch until Twitter has a “high confidence of stopping impersonation.”
“All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates,” Musk wrote on Friday. “Painful, but necessary.”
He added that paid users will have the same blue check as those previously given to verified accounts, which were given to signify a “notable” account. Musk has previously said those verified users will eventually lose their checkmarks.
“All verified individual humans will have same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes “notable” is otherwise too subjective,” Musk tweeted. “Individuals can have secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an org if verified as such by that org. Longer explanation next week.”
Musk has made the paid verification service a hallmark of his tenure atop the social media platform as a number of advertisers have slowed or stopped spending on Twitter.
Musk has also sharply reduced Twitter’s workforce, first laying off about half of the company’s 7,500 employees before telling those remaining to either accept a hardcore work environment or accept severance pay.
He reportedly fired a number of additional employees on Wednesday night.
Ikuhiro Ihara, a software engineer who had been at Twitter for a decade, said he was let go after a code review.
“I was planning to go back to Japan next week and work from Japan, but it turned into a complete winter vacation. Isn’t the timing too much?” he wrote on Twitter.