Twitter Delay Changes to Check Mark Badges
Users and employees have raised concerns that Elon Musk’s plan to give check marks to those who pay a monthly fee could be misused to sow discord.
The delay was intended to avoid political controversy, one of the people said.
The company made the call after announcing that it would roll out the program to its members who paid the monthly fee.
On Saturday, the company had said in notes accompanying a new update to the Twitter app that the paid verification system was now a feature of the website’s subscription service, Twitter Blue.
“Power to the people,” the announcement said. “Your account will get a blue check mark, just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”
But many Twitter users and employees raised concerns that the new pay-for-play badges could cause confusion ahead of Tuesday’s elections because users could easily create verified accounts — say, posing as President Biden or as lawmakers or news outlets and publishing false information about voting results — which could potentially sow discord.
One of the employees in a social media management team says that Twitter is “making such a risky change” by launching its verification badge before the Nov. 9 midterm elections.
A manager working on the verification badge project responds, saying that the decision has been made to delay the launch until after the elections.
Twitter has laid off its communications team, and there have been many rumors about how Twitter might respond to its user complaints. We don’t know yet what the company’s response will be.
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November 9th is the day immediately following the Tuesday election. Many races are still undecided.
On Friday, Elon Musk laid off about half of Twitter’s employees. That’s about 3,700 jobs.
He said at the time that he had no choice but to make the cuts because the company was losing $4 million a day.
Mr. Musk and his advisers have been talking about ways to get more money out of Twitter. They’ve discussed ways to get users to pay more for products on Twitter.
In addition to the check mark program, they have talked about adding paid direct messages — which would let users send private messages to high-profile users — to the service, as well as “paywalled” videos, which would mean that certain videos could not be viewed unless users paid a fee.
They have also discussed reviving Vine, a once one-time short-form video platform.
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