Journalists, personalities alarmed over Elon Musk’s plan to stay “verified” one has to pay monthly of US$8 - TrueID

Journalists, personalities alarmed over Elon Musk’s plan to stay “verified” one has to pay monthly of US$8

LionhearTVNovember 4, 2022

On November 2, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk confirmed via tweets that US$8/month charge for users who want to avail or keep their verified blue check.

“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is b*llsh*t. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk tweeted.

Journalists and known personalities expressed dismay over the plan to charge users for identity verification, because the information shared on the site will be less trustworthy and more vulnerable to manipulation.

“Dangerous times ahead, since this will just empower fake news peddlers on Twitter. We know disinformation networks have the money and can easily pay $8/month to get that blue checkmark, claim credibility, and continue spewing lies laced with hate. Tsk tsk,” Mara Cepeda, Philippines Correspondent for @straits_times tweeted.

Reporter for @RawStory Matthew Chapman responded in another tweet, “Hey @elonmusk, I am not paying $240 a year to stay verified. No one will. It’s not a status symbol, it’s a security feature. Making it a paid service will hurt a ton of journalists and make fake news spread more easily.”

“Congratulations for legitimizing the disinformation network for the small price of $8 a month,” Philippine journalist for @rapplerdotcom Lian Buan replied by quoting Musk’s tweet. 

Award-winning journalist Bryan Young tweeted, “So what happens when your local city government page or your local politician or your local journalist gets a troll who buys an $8 “verified account” to spread misinformation and there’s no way to tell if it’s legit anymore? This sounds like the worst plan ever.”

“Why would I want to keep my presence on a site where someone can make an account that looks like mine, pay $8 a month to get it “verified,” and then use it to scam or harass people? That plan is a threat to every single brand, journalist, etc. that uses this platform,” wrote progressive communicator and strategist Dante Atkins.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Marvic Leonen quoted Musk and wrote, “I would rather donate the 8 dollars to those who are hungry rather than pay and make the multi billionaire Musk richer. You can take away my blue check anytime. Greed has its karma.”

Verified checks exist on social platforms to combat misinformation and disinformation. 

If someone creates a fake profile to spread false information, it would be easy for people to tell if it is a troll by checking if the account has a verified check or not.

In 2009, Twitter’s blue check verification process got initiated in response to celebrity concerns about impersonation. 

According to Bloomberg, Twitter will start selling blue verification badges for user profiles as soon as next week.

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