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Verified Twitter users to pay $20 monthly for blue badge

Reactions have been trailing media reports that Twitter plans to start imposing a $20 monthly charge on verified users so they can retain their verification.  

Many people wonder why Elon Musk who had repeatedly expressed worry about the number of spam accounts on the platform, would want to discourage more people from being verified by introducing charges. 

For Twitter users in Nigeria, the charge would amount to about N16,000 per month. Nairametrics projects that many Nigerians may lose their badge if they are unable/willing to pay, especially those who do not use their accounts to make money. 

Details on the reported $20 verification charge: Several media reports quoted some Twitter employees to have said that Elon Musk gave them an ultimatum to introduce paid verification on Twitter or pack up and leave. Recall that Mr. Musk took over ownership of the company last week after a $44 million deal. 

The directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional $ 4.99-a-month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users.  

The Plan for Twitter Blue Subscription: Twitter is currently planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription. Under the current plan, verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark. Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired. 

What the users are saying: Following the news, many verified users on Twitter have been voicing their misgivings. One verified user identified as Katie Mack said: 

  • “The point of Twitter verification is that for certain individuals/organizations it’s useful to be able to verify their statements are coming from them. This is why so many journalists/reporters are verified. It’s supposed to help combat disinformation, not be a status symbol. 
  • “People think of it as a status thing because a lot of people with status are verified but the causality is that if you’re well known, you’re more likely to be a target for impersonation, and/or there’s more public interest in being able to verify that your statements are yours. This is not to say that Twitter verification is always applied sensibly/fairly. It certainly isn’t. And the verification distribution system has been bad in many ways for a long time. But turning it into purely a vanity accessory for pay would in fact be worse. 
  • “I suspect if this change goes through, it’ll just generally be harder for anyone to know what information is in any way reliable or vouched for by a real person or organization. More noise, less signal.”


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