Mainstream media reporters are venting their rage against Twitter — on Twitter of course — at Elon Musk’s reported plan to charge them a monthly fee to maintain their identity verification with the famous blue checkmark.
Media members quickly roasted the social media platform’s new owner, complaining that forcing them to pay for verification will damage their profession and lead to more fake news.
The company uses its verification process to mark accounts certified to be genuine. Critics believe the blue check marks prevent users from assuming a fake identity and spreading disinformation.
The objective appears to be to update Twitter Blue, which is a $4.99 per month optional service that offers the user more features. Reportedly the $19.99 level will include the coveted check marks, and subscribers would have 90 days to pay for their subscription or lose their mark.
Sources within the company say that Musk on Sunday gave employees a deadline of Nov. 7 to have the new feature up and running or risk losing their jobs.
On the same day, he tweeted that “the whole verification process is being revamped right now.” Reporters in particular are up in arms.
Raw Story’s Matthew Chapman tweeted that “no one” will pay $240 a year to stay verified and asserted that it’s a security feature, “not a status symbol.”
Chapman added that the site will be “less reputable and less attractive” before commenting that “dumb billionaire does dumb thing on impulse.”
Elon Musk says Twitter verification process "is being revamped right now" https://t.co/68TCe1Gmvx
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) October 31, 2022
Another accused Musk of committing a “thinly veiled attack on journalism.” This despite the rumored change applying to every user, not just a single profession.
While some credited Twitter’s new owner with successfully trolling those who hold their check marks in high esteem, still others worried about the effects on “false” information.
Journalist Rachel Dodes wondered what the result will be when “reputable” platforms refuse to pay for their check marks only to see “propaganda networks” step in and acquire them.
After investing $44 billion in the acquisition, Musk is working towards increasing subscriptions to being half of the company’s revenue. The widely-rumored reworking of the verification system is just one change out of many expected during and after the transition. Stay tuned.