Since the day Elon Musk has acquired Twitter, there has been a lot of Turmoil on social media. The drastic change of Twitter laws has made the netizens very divisive. A lot of laws have been changed such as, silver ticks and gold ticks, controversial accounts being reinstated, the subtle changes in algorithm, and additional changes of this sort. Musk stated that he will be introducing new features in order to promote freedom of speech and to make it an open source.
On 20th of April 2023, Official Twitter account announced that they will be removing the legacy verified checkmarks. To be remained verified, an individual must be subscribed to Twitter. According to informed sources, the blue verified tick costs, $11 a month or $114.99 a year for iOS/android users and $8 a month or $84 a year for web users.
Image Source: Twitter Verified (Twitter)
After the implementation of this policy, many politicians, celebrities, and influencers lost their blue checkmarks.
Image source: Pop Base (Twitter)
Most social media users responded negatively to this policy. Many users criticized the policy for not serving the very purpose of the blue checkmark. The blue checkmark indicates that an account is authentic and belongs to a notable public figure, brand, or an organization. Previously, the requirements to get a verified blue tick were complete account information, authenticity (Identity confirmation), Notability (having a strong presence in the media), and public interest (number of followers). Now, these parameters are not needed anymore. This led to an online debate among the users. Some criticized that by ignoring these parameters, a possibility in the rise of misinformation, disinformation, hate speech and harassment is high. Many have expressed their dissatisfaction with the new policy, arguing that it is unfair to require individuals to pay for something that was previously available for free.
Some criticized that this policy will create a barrier for entry for those who cannot afford the subscription fee, which could lead to a lack of diversity among the verified accounts. Few of the tweeters sarcastically created a fake account with a celebrity’s name and profile picture to make it seem like the tweets were made by the original celebrity (since most of the celebrities lost the blue tick). This form of wry humor conveyed that this policy acts as a barricade to identifying the authentic accounts.
Elon Musk also stated that, he has been paying on behalf of couple of celebrities in order to keep their blue tick. This created a chaos.
Image source: Elon Musk (Twitter)
Some of the celebrities who were paid by Elon, disapproved this gesture.
Image source: Stephen King (Twitter)
Many stated that this act is unfair and that it allows wealthy individuals to manipulate the verification system for their own benefit, further heightening the inequality of the platform.
The opinions and discussions on this matter have been escalating on social media with many being dissatisfied by this policy and some understanding that this is a business move. One of the twitter replies stated that, this is a business and not a non-profit and that only people who want the check can pay for it.
As the debate continues on social media, it remains to be seen whether Twitter’s policy will ultimately achieve Elon Musk’s goal of promoting freedom of speech and an open-source platform.