December 9, 2022

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Elon Musk delays launch of flagship Twitter project indefinitely

2 min read

Elon Musk has postponed the rollout of Twitter verification indefinitely until he is sure impersonation on the platform won’t get out of hand under the new policy changes.

In his announcement by tweet Monday evening, Musk added that he is also considering different colored checkmarks for the profiles of notable people or companies to prove they are “official,” as he looks to ensure imposter accounts don’t run amok under the Twitter Blue Verified relaunch.

Musk did not make it clear whether notable people would have to pay for their colored checkmark under the proposed changes.

A final decision on Twitter Blue Verified will be taken when Musk decides how he intends to differentiate paying users from notable people.

After Musk’s attempts to get users to pay a subscription fee of $7.99 a month for Twitter verification and a blue checkmark icon next to their profile—a sticker previously only reserved for notable people—the platform erupted into chaos, as a flood of Twitter Blue paying users pretended to be celebrities and companies.

Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin were both victims of imposters who set up fake verified profiles to tweet company announcements that sent the companies’ stock prices plummeting.  

Twitter engineers have been trying to tackle this issue. The company tested using a grey “official” sticker on high-profile accounts—a feature it switched on and off multiple times since its rollout, as Musk feared it would only worsen Twitter’s dual-class system. Musk then told all users that imposter accounts must have “parody” in their name, before double-backing and threatening all “Twitter handles engaging in impersonation” with permanent suspension.

Even after Twitter paused the rollout…

Sophie Mellor

2022-11-22 08:13:12

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