Reported $20 monthly charge for Twitter verification sparks pushback

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
The Twitter logo is seen on a mobile phone, Oct. 14, 2022, in Boston.

Elon Musk is reportedly planning big changes to Twitter, and one of his first moves has already sparked outrage among some users.

On Monday, tech outlet The Verge reported that Musk, who officially took over Twitter on Friday, plans to charge users $20 a month to be verified on the platform.

Essentially, Twitter plans to roll out a more expensive version of its already existing paid plan, Twitter Blue, which currently costs $4.99 a month in the U.S.  

Users who already have a blue checkmark will have 90 days to subscribe to a Twitter Blue plan or risk losing their verified status.

Several high-profile users, including author Stephen King, have expressed anger over the change.

“$20 a month to keep my blue check? F— that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” King tweeted.

Actress Lynda Carter also mocked the move.

New York Magazine’s Kara Swisher called the move a “hard no” and said she would “not pay a dime” for verification.

Nate Silver, the editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, tweeted that he was “probably the perfect target” for the paid plan but added, “My reaction is that I’ve generated a ton of valuable free content for Twitter over the years and they can go f— themselves.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a New York Times Magazine reporter and founder of The 1619 Project, also said “no thanks” to the paid verification.

While many users expressed anger over the cost, others were concerned that the move would exacerbate misinformation on the platform.

Musk’s takeover has spurred worries over his attitudes toward free speech. Musk, a self-described “free-speech absolutist,” has said he would bring back Twitter users who have been previously banned, including former President Trump.  

Musk assured Twitter advertisers in a note last week that he would not allow the platform to turn into a “free-for-all hellscape.”

But on Musk’s first day as “chief twit,” the platform saw a spike in hate language, and a number of anonymous accounts have applauded his newfound control of the site.  

Musk has since announced that Twitter will form a “content moderation council” featuring “widely diverse viewpoints.”  

Tags Elon Musk Elon Musk Kara Swisher Lynda Carter Nikole Hannah-Jones Stephen King Twitter Twitter verified
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