The drama surrounding the new Twitter Blue subscription service and the increasingly useless verified blue checkmark continues. After rolling out an update to Twitter for iOS over the weekend that supposedly included the new Twitter Blue features, a new report says the company is now delaying these changes…
When Twitter rolled out the new version of its iOS app over the weekend, the release notes indicated that the new Twitter Blue subscription was live. For $8/month, you’d get a blue checkmark added to your profile, with more features to come in a future update. “Power to the people,” the release notes said.
As that update started to roll out, users quickly began to notice that it was half-baked. Some people saw the new $8/month subscription but without the blue check badge, others saw the old version of Twitter Blue, and others saw nothing at all.
Now, The New York Times reports that Twitter is planning to delay the changes to the blue check verification until after the midterm elections in the United States on Tuesday.
But many Twitter users and employees raised concerns that the new pay-for-play badges could cause confusion ahead of Tuesday’s elections because users could easily create verified accounts — say, posing as President Biden or as lawmakers or news outlets and publishing false information about voting results — which could potentially sow discord. In an internal Slack channel on Saturday, one Twitter employee asked why the social network was “making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference.”
A manager working on the verification badge project responded on Sunday that “we’ve made the decision to move the launch of this release to Nov. 9, after the election.”
Additionally, Musk posted on Twitter on Sunday that “any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation” would be “permanently suspended.”
Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue. Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark
This is an odd form of self-admission by Twitter that maybe its plan to overhaul the verification system isn’t such a great idea after all, as many people have pointed out since Elon Musk officially took over.
Twitter is flying by the seat of its pants as it works to roll out these features and changes, and it’s really starting to show. What are your thoughts? Let us know down in the comments.
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