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Twitter delays paid blue checkmark until after midterms

Updated Nov 10th, 2022 4:50PM EST
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Image: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency

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On the weekend, Twitter rolled out the new $7.99 monthly subscription, which would give subscribers a blue checkmark, but an internal post shows that the company will wait until after the midterms to roll out this feature. Surrounded by controversy, as the current checkmark is given to companies, celebrities, politicians, journalists, etc., people familiar with the matter say the company decided to wait a couple more days to avoid possible election interference. However, Twitter is claiming that growth has been huge since Musk took over.

According to a New York Times report, Twitter is delaying the rollout of verification check marks to subscribers until after Tuesday’s midterm elections as the publication saw an internal post and talked to two people with knowledge of the decision.

(…) Many Twitter users and employees raised concerns that the new pay-for-play badges could cause confusion ahead of Tuesday’s elections because users could easily create verified accounts – say, posing as President Biden or as lawmakers or new outlets and publishing false information about voting results – which could potentially sow discord. In an internal Slack channel on Saturday, one Twitter employee asked why the social network was “making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference.”

The New York Times said that a manager working on the verification badge project responded that Twitter “made the decision to move the launch of this release to November 9, after the election.

Twitter has been upside down since Elon Musk bought the company and became the “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator.” Last week, he laid off almost 4,000 employees, and before that, he saw advertisers fleeing the platform “due to activist groups pressuring advertisers,” according to Musk’s words.

Promising “power to the people,” the only thing the new Twitter owner can bare is account handles engaging in impersonation “without clearly specifying ‘parody,'” as he says these accounts will be “permanently suspended.”

More tech coverage: Twitter Blue: An important update, if you’re thinking about signing up for the verified badge

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.