A situation described as “chaotic” prevailed on the world’s most famous micro-blogging site, “Twitter”, on Saturday, 24 hours after the disappearance of the blue ticks from the verified accounts, with the spread of cases of impersonation and the spread of false and fabricated information.
The move was ordered and supervised by Blue Bird owner Elon Musk, who vowed to make the struggling Twitter profitable by any means possible. And last month, an internal document seen by US media showed that Musk currently estimates the value of “Twitter” at about twenty billion dollars, after the estimated value was 44 billion when he acquired the social network last October.
And according to what was reported by the British newspaper “The Guardian”, Musk is trying to force users to pay for verification services that were previously free, for well-known personalities, celebrities and media professionals.
Twitter reportedly had about 400,000 users verified under the blue verification system, many of them journalists, athletes and public figures. The authentication process has been used to mean that the account has been verified by Twitter.
The cost of keeping tags ranges from $8 per month for individual users, and a starting price of $1,000 per month for an enterprise account verification, in addition to $50 per month for each account affiliated with an entity or employee.
Twitter does not document individual accounts, as was the case with the previous blue tick, which was granted during the period before Musk’s administration of the platform.
However, the company’s new system, after Musk acquired it, the account holder must subscribe to the “Twitter Blue” service to obtain the blue badge, even if the account has a pseudonym.
And Thursday, prominent Twitter users lost their blue authentication tags that helped them verify their identity and distinguish them from scammers, except for those who decided to pay the $8 per month fee.
Among the prominent users who lost the blue authentication marks, Beyonce, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, former US President Donald Trump, the Portuguese star – the Saudi victory player – Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Algerian football star, Riyad Mahrez, who said: “I will not pay for such strange ideas.”
This move led to many users impersonating well-known people by creating fake accounts with their names.
The Guardian said that the “chaotic operation of Twitter” led to the impersonation of prominent figures such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and the late US Senator John McCain.
Others posted fake tweets posing as belonging to misinformation news accounts mocking Musk.
And while Twitter now offers gold tags for “verified organizations” and gray tags for government organizations and their affiliates, it wasn’t clear why those tags appeared on some accounts and not others.
Meanwhile, Twitter continues to push advertisers so hard they have to sign up for Twitter Blue to keep running ads — at a time when cash flow from Twitter’s top advertisers has shrunk by 65%, the Journal reported.
This and the ability to appear as real – documented – organizations and personalities has raised fears that Twitter will lose its position as a platform for obtaining accurate and updated information from reliable sources, including in emergency situations.