Cacophony at Twitter around the new account authentication system

Cacophony at Twitter around the new account authentication system

Twitter launched an “Official” badge for government accounts on Wednesday, in such a cacophony that the highly anticipated arrival of the new Twitter Blue, the paid subscription to authenticate your account, went almost unnoticed.

Twitter Blue now allows users who wish, for $8 per month, to obtain the famous blue tick, a guarantee of authenticity that was previously free but reserved for governments and media personalities.

The extensively revised subscription is currently only available in the mobile application, on iPhones and in the United States.

At the same time, Twitter has just as discreetly launched the “Official” badge.

But Elon Musk, the boss and owner of the social network for less than two weeks, tweeted on Wednesday morning that he had “deleted” it.

“The blue tick will put everyone on the same level,” added the multi-billionaire.

Shortly after, the director of products in development Esther Crawford nevertheless assured that the “Official” badge would be “activated”.

“We’re just starting with governments and commercial organizations. What (Elon Musk) mentioned was the fact that we don’t give the +Official+ badge to individuals at this time,” she said.

Accounts like that of American elected official Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pope Francis in English or even controversial rapper Kanye West had received the “Official” badge before it disappeared.

– “A lot of stupid things” –

Elon Musk fired half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees on Friday, ten days after buying the social network and launching several projects manu militari, including the overhaul of the paid subscription.

Since then, communication on the evolution of the influential platform has taken place mainly via its tweets and those of certain officials.

“Please note that Twitter is going to do a lot of stupid things in the coming months. We’ll keep what works and change what doesn’t,” said the whimsical Tesla and SpaceX boss.

“There are no more sacred cows in the products of Twitter,” added Esther Crawford, sharing the message of the general manager.

“Elon wants to try a lot of things — some will fail, some will succeed. The goal is to find the right mix of changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business,” he said. She keeps.

The gray “Official” badge is meant to distinguish accounts from official organizations from those of Twitter Blue followers, who will have a blue check mark and practical benefits.

It must allow, according to the leader, to fight against false profiles and automated accounts, because malicious actors will have to spend eight dollars each time, and have as many credit cards as accounts they want to create.

On Wednesday, several accounts posing as celebrities sprang up on the network, including a fake Lakers superstar basketball player LeBron James.

The impostor with his blue tick had time to request a transfer to another team before the account was deleted.

– “True, interesting and entertaining” –

Elon Musk detailed his vision for the “digital public square” Wednesday during a public online conference for advertisers.

The richest man in the world would like to have “80% of humanity” on Twitter, which would interact “in a more positive way”.

He spoke of “a vigorous quest for truth”, specifying that “anything that is not true, interesting or entertaining” will be “stopped or in any case relegated to the background”.

“Messages from verified accounts will be displayed by default,” he explained, while tweets from people who have not paid for Twitter Blue will be treated a bit like “spam” on an email inbox.

The comparison is likely to make the many detractors of the multi-billionaire ironic, who says he wants to “give more power to the people” and abolish “the current system of lords and peasants, between those who have the blue tick and those who do not have it. “.

Elon Musk also hopes to diversify the platform’s sources of income, while several advertisers have temporarily withdrawn from Twitter, while waiting to see how content moderation, which is crucial for their brands, evolves.

The rate of evolution of the platform will be “out of proportion with the past”, underlined the boss again.

On Wednesday evening, his account still had the old blue mark, awarded free for his “notoriety”.

On the accounts of subscribers to the new formula, the badge is identical but it now indicates a “verified” account, because it is “subscribed to Twitter Blue”.