All verified accounts “are manually authenticated before verification is enabled,” Musk tweeted.
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The Twitter owner didn’t elaborate on what manual authentication would entail. Accounts with old blue ticks on the social media site had to have their identity verified to receive the token and are predominantly used by corporations, celebrities, journalists, politicians and other public figures. It’s unclear if Twitter has a system in place to manually authenticate accounts, especially after drastically reducing its workforce over the past month.
The billionaire took over Twitter last month in a $44 billion deal that he proposed, then tried to cancel and then proposed again. Since the takeover, the Twitter workforce has been in chaos. Musk cut about half his jobs, then gave the remaining employees an ultimatum to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or leave. Hundreds of employees refused to sign the pledge.
The company’s trust and security team, which is responsible for fighting hate speech and monitoring content on the site, has seen major upheaval under Musk – from the departure of executives to the reversal of carefully crafted decisions. He seems to make many critical decisions by polling Twitter users. Musk restored former President Donald Trump’s account and plans to restore almost all previously suspended accounts after conducting separate polls.
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Since Musk’s acquisition, several major advertisers have stopped advertising on the site – Endangering Twitter’s main source of income.
Shortly after assuming control of the company, Musk turned the old tick system on its head and rolled out a feature on the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service that allows anyone to pay $7.99 and get a blue tick on their account provided he had an Apple ID and a phone number.
But the new paid system quickly went awry. Accounts were created impersonating socialites, elected officials, and brands. Tweets purporting to be from politicians or corporations went viral.
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The chaos made it difficult to quickly identify which accounts were valid and which were impersonators, undermining trust in the site’s posts. Twitter has disabled new signups for the service.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that the company will start “Verified for the time being next week on Friday”. He didn’t say what exactly that would mean for accounts that had ticks under the old system or for accounts interested in paying for Twitter’s subscription service.
He tweeted that “All verified individuals have the same blue tick as the boundary of what is ‘remarkable’ is too subjective otherwise.”
Musk stopped an introduction earlier this month that would have given officially verified accounts a new badge to indicate they’ve been verified as who they say they are.
“Aside from being an aesthetic nightmare when looking at the Twitter feed, it’s just another way to create a two-tier system,” he said during a Twitter Spaces audio call.
Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But on the platform, in a Reply to another userhe said accounts would be suspended if they engaged in “deliberate impersonation/spoofing”.
He added: “We’ll see how it goes.”