He owns Twitter for a week, and how Elon Musk will change the social network intrigues observers. One of the changes concerns the “certification” of accounts: a small blue sticker, with a curved white line, currently indicates that the account in question has been confirmed by the network as belonging to o of one who claims to animate it .
Twitter, between paid certification and “second tag”
This rosette is awarded by Twitter to various personalities – artists, athletes, politicians, entrepreneurs, journalists… – according to criteria that depend largely on his good will. An obsolete device, as the boss of SpaceX, Tesla and Neuralink wrote on the platform he now owns:
Twitter’s current system of lords and peasants for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
“The current Twitter system of lords and farmers determining who has or doesn’t have certification is bullshit. Power to the people! Certification for eight dollars a month”said Musk, who also specified that the subscription price will be adjusted “by country, in proportion to purchasing power parity”. In addition, the South African-born businessman, who spent $44 billion to buy the bird network, also pointed out that a “second tag” highlight public figures.
In other words, it is the arrival of a two-speed certification announced on Twitter. A paradoxical way of doing things “Power to the people” ? Defenders of the system argue that this form of toll at the entrance to the network will skim the robots and spam that abound on the micro-blogging site. Last May, it was by answering the question of fake accounts that Musk stopped his offer to take over Twitter: he estimated that there were at least 20% of them, while the former general manager, Parag Agrawal, said that the problem affects less than 5% of the number of users.
One of the reasons for that @elonmusk Want to charge for the blue checkmark blowout all these bots, fakes, and “keyboard warrior” accounts.
— حسن سجواني 🇦🇪 Hassan Sajwani (@HSajwanization) November 1, 2022
Pay to tweet, it’s here
Paid subscription to Twitter is not new either. This function already exists under the name “Twitter Blue”. Available only in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, it costs $4.99 per month. Twitter Blue allows you to preview the network’s new features, and gain access to special features, such as one that lets you cancel your tweet 10 seconds after hitting the “tweet” button.
Therefore, the Twitter Blue functionality should be extended to the issue of certification. An “edit” button is also expected to appear. This will allow, at any time, to rewrite his tweet, which is currently impossible. This possibility of rewriting messages is not without practical and ethical problems: what about a message that is rewritten after it lives on the network, even if this means changing its meaning?
We’re not there yet, and far from it because the “Muskian” directives are floating around, and also vary according to the “temperature reading” he’s taking on the network. On October 31, Musk lowered the price of the certification after an exchange with writer Stephen King: “20 dollars a month to keep my blue sticker? Shit, they should pay me that. If this is established, I’ll be closing up shop like Enron”referring to the bankruptcy of the energy giant, which in the United States has become a symbol of capitalism’s wanderings.
$20 a month to keep my blue check? Fuck that, they should pay me. If that is implemented, I will be gone like Enron.
—Stephen King (@StephenKing) October 31, 2022
“We have to pay the bills!”, Musk replied, drawing the $8 offer dry. Is he ready to go down? In a recent survey, over 80% of Twitter users said they would refuse to pay for account certification, and 10% said they would pay five dollars a month. On Twitter, bidding is – still – open.