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Elon Musk says US ‘fought a war to get rid of stuff’ like Twitter’s ‘lords and peasants’ verification system

Elon Musk says US ‘fought a war to get rid of stuff’ like Twitter’s ‘lords and peasants’ verification system

Elon Musk says that the US “fought a war to get rid of stuff” like Twitter’s “lords and peasants” blue tick system that he is now charging $8 per month for.

The billionaire’s defence of his changes at the platform he bought for $44bn came as he rolled out and then immediately “killed off” a new verification badge for government accounts, major brands and media outlets on Wednesday within hours of it becoming active.

The move came as the world’s richest person tried to convince advertisers to spend money with the platform during a Spaces event on Wednesday where he was asked if the new blue tick actually stood for anything anymore.

“Someone has to have a phone, a credit card and $8 a month, that is the bar,” he said.

“However we will actively suspend accounts engaged in deception or trickery of any kind, it is a levelling of the playing field, it will be less special obviously to have a checkmark but I think this is a good thing.

“Don’t we believe in one person one vote, I think we do, so I actually don’t like the lords and peasants situation where some have blue check marks and some don’t.

“This is the US, we fought a war to get rid of this stuff. Maybe this is a dumb decision but we will see.”

Mr Musk then joked that if a major brand which advertised with Twitter did not want to pay for verification “I will pay it for them.”

The businessman, a famously active Tweeter, was then asked if the platform would hold him to the same standards as other users.

“Yeah absolutely,” he said. “But I think we are also going to try and be more forgiving, if someone is actively not engaged in fraud, if someone missteps we should give them a temporary suspension then we should let them back on.

“If they keep doing it deliberately they should be permanently suspended. As long as an account takes corrective action and does not do bad things repeatedly they should not be suspended permanently but if they do then they should be suspended permanently.”

He then went on to describe Twitter under his ownership as “a Lincolnesque cabinet if you will” with a “diversity of viewpoints” allowed.

“At the end of the day, the success will be if people like Twitter they will use it more frequently and we will get more people joining. And if companies like Twitter then they will use it by advertising or they won’t, the proof is in the pudding.

“We are really going to agonise a lot about what is right what should be done, what is a force for good in the long term and sometimes we will be wrong about that and we will take corrective action.”