Elon Musk wants users to pay to be certified on Twitter – Image

Elon Musk, Twitter’s new owner, has launched the social network’s transformation at breakneck speed, tweeting pell-mell announcements and jokes, as the departure of top executives becomes clearer. . He unveiled on Tuesday his first major project: an $8 per month subscription for users who want their account certified as authentic. “The current system of lords and farmers, with those with blue ticks and those without, is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8 a month,” said the Tesla boss. and SpaceX, which acquired Twitter on Thursday.

The new chief executive wants to combine Twitter Blue — a subscription to paid features for $5 a month — and the ability to verify and certify his identity. Currently, only certain profiles can request this authentication token, including governments, companies, media, political, cultural or sports personalities, etc. Subscribers will have other advantages: their tweets will appear in priority, they will be able to post longer videos, they will be exposed to “half the advertising” and will have access to free articles on “ready to work” news site. ,” said Elon Musk. The new offer should help the platform fight fake accounts and diversify its revenue sources. Its business model is 90% dependent on advertising.

But the very idea of ​​having to pay to get your account certified has drawn a lot of criticism. “If everyone buys a verification badge, there will be a problem with the credibility of the information,” tweeted Pranay Pathole, an engineer fan of the multi-billionaire. “Appealing to Twitter users to earn more money may be the right strategy, but verification is not what needs to be paid for,” commented Insider Intelligence analyst Jasmine Enberg. “Certification should ensure the authenticity of accounts and conversations on the platform, it’s not a premium tool,” he added. The richest man in the world has repeatedly since the beginning of this takeover event that he wants to strengthen freedom of expression in this “public square” that is important to democracy, and that profitability is not his priority.

But he has been trying since Thursday to reassure worried advertisers. On Friday, automaker General Motors announced it was temporarily removing its ads from Twitter. The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) for its part recalled the importance for brands to eliminate “toxic content”. According to the expert site The Verge, Elon Musk first considered raising the price of the monthly subscription to 20 dollars. “Twenty bucks a month to keep my blue badge? Fuck them, they should be paying me. If this is set up, I’m gone,” tweeted bestselling author Stephen King on Monday. Elon Musk, who renamed himself in his account bio “Twitter hotline operator”, responded by offering eight dollars.

According to employees, the engineers involved are expected to work tirelessly to overhaul the subscription by November 7, and have been told that their jobs are at stake. serves to punish users who spread false information or hate speech. Twitter did not respond to requests from AFP. The eccentric entrepreneur controls the influential social network, calling on Tesla engineers to help him. He fired the board, and several executives, without official confirmation. Vijaya Gadde, head of legal affairs, and Jay Sullivan, head of product, removed all mention of Twitter from their profiles. The account of Nick Caldwell, the head of engineering, indicates a “former manager at Twitter”.

“The ongoing removal process is a farce and a disgrace. Tesla minions are making decisions on people they know nothing about except the number of lines of code produced. This is complete nonsense,” Taylor tweeted last Sunday. Leese, the manager of an engineering group he says fired him. Sarah Personette, the director of operations in charge of relations with advertisers, announced her resignation, as did Dalana Brand, who nurtured diversity within the Californian group.

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