Technology

Elon Musk: Twitter won’t restart paid verification until …

The U.S. government is still looking into Elon Musk's $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.

According to a recording of Elon Musk’s Monday meeting with Twitter employees obtained by NewsXtra, Musk said the company would not relaunch its paid verification subscription, Twitter Blue, until “we’re confident about significant impersonations not happening.”

Last week, Musk announced that his Blue subscription, which costs $8 per month, would once again be available on November 29. At the staff meeting, however, he said, “We might launch it next week. We might not. But we’re not going to launch until there’s high confidence in protecting against those significant impersonations.”

Musk’s first significant overhaul after taking control of Twitter was to quickly roll out a feature that allowed users to purchase a verified status indicator called Twitter Blue. After only two days of use, paid verification was disabled. The Musk-led rollout quickly led to rampant impersonation of high-profile accounts, including those of Twitter’s advertisers, despite warnings from Twitter’s trust and safety staff.

Given that Twitter Blue doesn’t confirm that identity is who they claim to be, it needs to be clarified how Musk plans to prevent accounts from impersonating others with the blue checkmark. In an apparent effort to differentiate itself from the blue checkmark, which has become a commodity anyone can buy, Twitter has been adding and removing distinct, grey checkmarks on high-profile accounts without explanation since Musk took over.

At today’s company meeting, Musk told employees that Twitter “probably” needs to give “institutions and companies” a “different colour check.” However, he didn’t go into detail because “this is still something we’re thinking through.”

To paraphrase, “any given social media platform, in my view, doesn’t matter what it is, will be vulnerable to bots and trolls unless there is some payment barrier to increase the cost of bots and trolls significantly,” he said. According to a recording of the meeting obtained by NewsXtra, he assured employees that Twitter had completed its layoffs and was again accepting applications.

Musk tweeted after the story came out that the company was “holding off the relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation” and that “we will probably use different colour check for organisations than individuals.”

Since taking over as CEO, Musk has made it a top priority to diversify Twitter’s revenue away from advertising, which he claims has seen a “massive drop” since he took over.

There is no one left to reach out to at Twitter for comment because everyone in the communications department has been fired or quit.