Twitter Blue suspended amid controversies

Eberechukwu Etike
This decision was announced in an internal note identifying service misuse as the reason behind the suspension.

Twitter Blue, an $8-a-month verification scheme by the microblogging platform, has been suspended. 

This decision was announced in an internal note identifying service misuse as the reason behind the suspension. According to the Internal note, it said

An update on what we did tonight: hid the entry point to Twitter Blue, added the ‘official’ label for ONLY advertisers. Note: here is at least one way for users to sign up for Blue. Legacy Blue users can go to subscriptions and upgrade

Impersonation problems with Twitter Blue

Twitter Blue was intended to provide anyone who could afford to pay $8 a month with a verification badge. The badge in the form of a “blue check” was previously reserved for celebrities, politicians, journalists, and accounts with very large followings.

Internet trolls opened several parody accounts for popular entities since Twitter Blue launched two weeks after Elon Musk took over as the CEO of Twitter.

The most notable parody accounts during this period included an account for Lebron James, which posted a request to leave the Los Angeles Lakers, an account for former President George Bush tweeted, “I miss killing iraquis”, and another account that impersonated the electric vehicle manufacture, Tesla. 

Related post: Twitter Blue users get access to the edit functionality

Yesterday, Chief Twit Elon Musk tweeted, “Going forward, accounts engaged in parody must include ‘parody’ in their name, not just in bio,” and added, “To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok.”

Although Twitter denied rumors of a grey official tag that will appear on the accounts of popular entities on Thursday, it has now confirmed that an “Official” label would be added to some accounts.  

Tweeps have since mocked the Twitter management, considering the irony that the conflicting announcements about the “official label” sat on top of each other as two tweets in the verified Twitter Support account feed Friday. 

Some users posted screenshots of the Twitter Support announcement with an “official” badge below the screen name, but the tag was not visible to all users.

Reuters also reported that the new $8 subscription option for the blue verification check had disappeared.

Read more: How Musk’s new $8 verification plan could mean chaos for Twitter

“Twitter seems to have unlaunched the new $7.99 Twitter Blue subscription,” posted app researcher Jane Manchun Wong. “Checked with Twitter’s API and the in-app purchase for Twitter Blue Verified is no longer listed for production.”

Twitter Blue could mean chaos for Musk
How Musk’s new $8 verification plan could mean chaos for Twitter

This policy reversal is the latest in a series of moves that have led advertisers away from Twitter and confused users. While Musk aimed to increase the company’s revenue with Twitter Blue, these decisions have led to a revenue decline. According to the WSJ, Musk told staffers in a Thursday meeting that bankruptcy is possible for the company.

Musk has made several changes to the company apart from the monetisation of Twitter Blue. He fired the former CEO, CFO, and head of its legal department the day he took over. The content moderation head, chief information security officer, chief privacy officer, and its chief compliance officer have departed, according to multiple reports.

Twitter’s communications team was also eliminated, and the company could not be reached early Friday. Its “Twitter Comms” account has not posted since Oct. 31, when it retweeted a comment from Musk that “Twitter’s commitment to brand safety is unchanged.”

The company has boasted about rising user numbers since Musk bought the company, However, observers have reported a surge in hate speech on the site, and some suspended accounts, like that of Ye, the artist formerly known as Kanye West, have been reactivated.


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