Musk Announces Shakeup for Twitter Verified Users

Musk Announces Shakeup for Twitter Verified Users
Twitter logo and Elon Musk silhouette on Dec. 19, 2022. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters)

Elon Musk has touted Twitter’s paid Blue subscription plan as providing users with additional benefits while helping to prevent AI bots from taking over the platform.

In a March 27 Twitter post, Musk said users will now need a “verified account” if they want to be eligible to vote in polls or be recommended on the platform’s “For You” page, which displays a stream of tweets from accounts on Twitter, including those that users don’t necessarily follow.

Users who wish to appear on the recommended feed and vote in polls will need to be verified by April 15, Musk said.

“Starting on April 15, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations,” Musk tweeted. “[This] is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle. Voting in polls will require verification for same reason.”

Musk clarified that AI bots will still be allowed to pay for verification via the Blue subscription plan as long as they don’t impersonate a human.

“That said, it’s ok to have verified bot accounts if they follow terms of service and don’t impersonate a human,” Musk added.

Twitter announced on March 23 that it would begin “winding down” its legacy blue checkmarks for all users on the platform starting April 1.

Prior to Musk acquiring Twitter in October for $44 billion, Twitter users such as celebrities, politicians, government officials, journalists, or other accounts of public interest, were able to get verification badges for free as long as they met certain criteria.

However, Musk had complained that the process to get accounts verified was often difficult and convoluted and that the blue checkmarks were handed out in a “corrupt and nonsensical” way.

‘The Only Platform You Can Trust’

Under the Blue subscription plan, users pay $8 per month in the United States for verification, although it is slightly more expensive at $11 per month for users who sign up on the iOS app, to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes.

Subscribers will still need to meet Twitter’s eligibility criteria to receive or retain the blue checkmark, including having accounts that are more than 90 days old and were active within 30 days leading up to the subscription.

They must also show no signs of having engaged in “misleading or deceptive” behavior or “platform manipulation and spam.”

Responding to Musk’s announcement regarding verified accounts on Monday, one user tweeted: “I don’t get behind this decision. You need to invest money into talent and AI tech to detect bots on the platform. This isn’t the way to go. It could tarnish the platform.”

“My prediction is that this will be the only platform you can trust,” Musk replied.

Twitter bots have long been a contentious point for Musk, who had previously claimed that Twitter failed to provide the necessary information needed to establish how many automated bots and fake accounts were on the platform prior to his buying Twitter last year.

Twitter had said around 5 percent of accounts on the platform were bots but Musk argued that at least 20 percent were fake or spam accounts.

Since taking over the platform, Musk has made cracking down on fake bot accounts one of his top priorities. Earlier on Monday, the billionaire businessman said that paid verification increases the cost of using bots by more than 10,000 percent and makes it much easier to identify them.

“Obvious conclusion: paid account social media will be the only social media that matters,” Musk tweeted.

From The Epoch Times

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