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Elon Musk to remove all unpaid Twitter check marks amid verification chaos

Anyone who currently has Twitter verification will no longer have it under newly proposed rules by Elon Musk  (Reuters)
Anyone who currently has Twitter verification will no longer have it under newly proposed rules by Elon Musk (Reuters)

Elon Musk has announced that all unpaid Twitter verification checkmarks will be removed as part of new rules for the platform.

The move is part of the billionaire’s attempt to give “power to the people” by removing the “lords and peasants” system that was in place before he bought the social media giant.

But the changes have already led to chaos on the social network, which now makes it difficult to know whether an account is really verified or has paid for Twitter’s premium service.

“All unpaid legacy Blue checkmarks will be removed in a few months,” Mr Musk tweeted.

When asked whether celebrities or other public figures would receive the newly introduced ‘official’ tag, he revealed that such decisions had not yet been made.

“Hard to say who’s celeb and who isn’t,” he wrote. “Being able to sort by follower count and disallowing deliberate impersonation probably solves this.”

An updated version of the Twitter Blue subscription service will be launched on 29 November, Mr Musk said on Tuesday, which will allow anyone to become “verified” by paying $8 per month.

The feature was delayed earlier this month after users impersonated celebrities, sports stars, companies, and even Mr Musk himself using the blue checkmark badge.

In one instance, this reportedly led to a pharmaceutical company losing billions of dollars in value after someone impersonated it to falsely announce that “insulin is free now”.

The latest version of Twitter Blue will be “rock solid”, according to Mr Musk, who said that anyone with a Twitter checkmark who changes their name will lose their checkmark “until name is confirmed by Twitter to meet Terms of Service”.

Many of the Twitter employees who were in responsible for verification appear to have been fired since Mr Musk’s takeover, with those remaining reportedly told to commit to a “hardcore” Twitter.

In an email to staff overnight on Tuesday, Mr Musk forced staff to click “yes” on a link pledging to commit to the “new Twitter”, according to reports.

“This will mean working long hours at high intensity,” he said. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”