Twitter’s verification system has been in disarray recently, with many celebrities and organizations being given blue or gold certification logos and claiming they subscribed to Twitter Blue, a paid service, which is not the case.
Twitter Blue is a value-added feature that cost $8 a month (currently about RMB 55) that was introduced after Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought Twitter, offering features such as unsend, edit tweets, and topic mode. Elon Musk also removed the previous verification mechanism so that only paying users could get the blue label, while businesses and organisations would have to pay $1,000 a month to get the gold label.
However, the change has sparked discontent and protests from many users, especially celebrities and organisations who already had a Blue Label. They see it as a form of extortion and blackmail by Elon Musk, which also damages their reputation and authority. Some celebrities even took to Twitter to declare that they did not subscribe to Twitter Blue and had not verified their mobile numbers, which were automatically attached to their accounts by Twitter.
Even more bizarre is the fact that Twitter has issued blue tags to some celebrities who have passed away, such as basketball superstar Kobe Bryant, actor Chadwick Boseman and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Twitter also claimed that all these people had subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their mobile numbers. This is certainly disrespectful to the deceased and makes Twitter’s verification system look absurd and ridiculous.
In addition to giving some people the accreditation logo, Twitter made an even bigger mistake: they gave a gold label to an account pretending to be Disney UK and called it the “official organisation on Twitter”. The fake account had just over a thousand followers and tweeted some racist comments. When Disney UK found out about the issue, they immediately contacted Twitter and asked for the fake account to be removed. The fake account has now been suspended by Twitter.
There has been no official response or explanation from Twitter regarding the confusion and errors. Elon Musk has also not made any comments on the matter. However, some analysts believe that the changes that Elon Musk has made since acquiring Twitter have made the already controversial social platform even more confusing and out of control. They question Elon Musk’s ability and willingness to manage the platform, which has hundreds of millions of users, and whether he will be held accountable for the damage he has caused.