Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk has a message for users sulking over his announcement of an $8 monthly fee for a verified badge.
“To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8,” Mr Musk tweeted as a several influencers and celebrities flagged security concerns, arguing that anyone can now open an account in someone’s name, pay the fee and get it verified.
To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Introducing a fee for the blue tick is the first major change to the microblogging site since the Tesla CEO took it over after months of dramatic developments that also reached the courtroom.
Musk, who now describes himself as “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator”, had earlier said that the verification process for accounts is being revamped.
Yesterday, he announced the move to charge a monthly fee of $8 for Twitter’s Blue service, terming the move “power to the people”.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” he said.
Mr Musk added that the new plan provides several other features to verified users.
“You will also get: Priority in replies, mentions and search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam. Ability to post long video and audio. Half as many ads. And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us,” he tweeted.
The fee, he said, will be adjusted by “country proportionate to purchasing power parity”. Mr Musk did not specify the method used to decide “purchasing power”.
Earlier, there was speculation that the fee for verification may be as high as $20 a month.
This had sparked a strong response from many, including bestselling author Stephen King.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check? F*** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” Mr King had tweeted.
He got a reply from none other than Mr Musk. “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?” the new Twitter boss replied.
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