Musk plans Twitter check mark feature again, but with more colors

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Elon Musk said Twitter will launch a verification feature with multi-colored checkmarks, just weeks after the ill-fated launch of its paid blue verification model, which had to be scrapped when impersonation accounts they ran rampant.

Musk tweeted Friday that “Verified” will launch in a week, this time with gold checkmarks for companies, gray for governments and blue for individuals, which may also qualify for a “small logo secondary” indicating that they belong to an organization.

All verified accounts “will be manually authenticated before activating control,” Musk tweeted.

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The owner of Twitter did not elaborate on what the manual authentication involves. Accounts with historical blue checkmarks on the social media site had to have their identity verified to get the token, and are mainly used by companies, celebrities, journalists, politicians and other public figures. It’s unclear whether Twitter has a system in place to manually authenticate accounts, especially after dramatically cutting its workforce last month.

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Since taking over Twitter, CEO Elon Musk has laid off thousands, many of them tasked with maintaining crucial services. Former employees worry the site could collapse. (Video: Jonathan Baran/The Washington Post)

The billionaire took to Twitter last month at a $44 billion deal he proposed, then tried to cancel, then proposed again. Since the acquisition, Twitter’s workforce has been in chaos. Musk cut about half of his jobs, then delivered an ultimatum to the remaining employees to commit to a new “hardcore” Twitter or leave. Hundreds of employees refused to sign the pledge.

The company’s Trust and Safety team, which is responsible for combating hate speech and policing content on the site, has undergone major upheaval under Musk — from leaders who left to decisions carefully crafted that are being reversed. He seems to be making a lot of critical decisions by polling Twitter users. Musk restored former president Donald Trump’s account and plans to reinstate almost all previously banned accounts after conducting a separate survey.

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Several major advertisers have stopped advertising on the site since Musk took over — puts Twitter’s main source of revenue at risk.

Musk changed the legacy checkmark system shortly after taking control of the company, introducing a feature in the company’s Twitter Blue subscription service that lets anyone pay $7.99 and get a checkmark blue check on his account, as long as he has an Apple ID and a phone. number.

But the new paid system soon went wrong. Accounts impersonating public figures, elected officials and brands have been created. Tweets claiming to be from politicians or companies have gone viral.

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The chaos made it difficult to tell quickly which accounts were valid and which were impersonations, and trust in the posts on the site decreased. Twitter has disabled new registrations for the service.

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On Friday, Musk tweeted that the company is “tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.” He did not say what exactly this means for accounts that had checkmarks under the old system, or for accounts that are interested in paying for Twitter’s subscription service.

He tweeted that “All verified individual humans will have the same blue verification, as the boundary of what constitutes ‘notable’ is otherwise too subjective.”

Musk halted the rollout from earlier this month that would have given officially verified accounts a new badge to show they have been confirmed to be who they say they are.

“In addition to being an aesthetic nightmare when looking at the feed Twitter is simply another way of creating a two-class system,” he said during an audio call Twitter Spaces.

Musk and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But on the platform, in a reply to another userhe said accounts will be suspended if they engage in “intentional impersonation/deception.”

He added: “We’ll see how it goes.”



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