In this photo illustration a Twitter logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen with Elon Musk Twitter in the background in Athens, Greece on October 30, 2022. Elon Musk begins his Twitter ownership with firings.
Nikolas Kokovlis | Nurphoto | Getty Images
Elon Musk laid out a series of ideas Tuesday for a new user verification process for Twitter, which he recently acquired for $44 billion.
In a thread of tweets, Musk criticized the current system, which gives a blue check mark, or verification, to notable users like politicians, members of the press, executives and other people and organizations. It has been used as a way for users to know that the check mark means the account is legitimate. Other social networks, like Meta‘s Facebook and Instagram, have similar verification systems.
Musk said he will give “power to the people” by offering verification through Twitter Blue for $8 a month. He said participants will get priority in mentions, replies and search, receive half as many ads and will be able to tweet long videos and audio.
He added that a secondary tag will appear below the names of users who are public figures, which, as Musk pointed out, already exists for politicians.
The Tesla CEO also said Twitter Blue subscribers will be given a “paywall bypass” for publishers that are willing to work with the social media platform. He claimed this method will “destroy the bots” by increasing the “cost of crime on Twitter by several orders of magnitude,” adding that any Blue account that engages with spam will be suspended.
It is unclear if these changes will actually be implemented.
Musk’s thread follows an earlier report from The Verge Sunday that said the tech billionaire was considering charging as much as $19.99 a month for the Twitter Blue subscription. The Twitter employees working on the project were reportedly told that they have until Nov. 7 to launch the feature, or they will be fired, according to the report.
The Tesla chief executive, who also is CEO of reusable rocket maker SpaceX, completed the acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 28 and made his mark there immediately. He fired the company’s CEO, chief financial officer, policy and legal team leaders right away, and dissolved Twitter’s board of directors.
— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny contributed to this report.