Twitter: Elon Musk unveils new certifications

Will this new attempt finally be the right one? Twitter boss and owner Elon Musk announced on Friday the upcoming launch of badges of different colors to distinguish authenticated accounts on the platform. “Sorry for the delay, we are tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week,” the multi-billionaire tweeted. “A gold tick for businesses, a gray tick for governments, blue for individuals (celebrities or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before verification is enabled,” he continued. “It’s painful, but necessary,” justified the entrepreneur.

In another tweet, Musk clarified that all authenticated individual accounts would have the same blue badge, but some may eventually display “a small secondary logo indicating they belong to an organization if verified as such by that organization. “. The new authentication system wanted by the boss of Tesla and SpaceX has been causing confusion and misunderstanding for several weeks. Mr. Musk wants to offer a paid subscription at $8 per month allowing all users who wish to obtain the famous blue tick, which was previously free but reserved for accounts considered notorious.

Advertisers flee

A first version of this new system had fallen short at the beginning of November, many accounts then posing as celebrities or companies. Faced with the ambient cacophony, Mr. Musk had decided to postpone the launch date to November 29 before postponing it indefinitely.

A gray “Official” badge is already in place. Originally added to notorious accounts, it now appears under the name of certain large companies. Mr Musk wants to charge users to diversify revenue from Twitter, which is 90% dependent on advertising.

Since the takeover of the platform by the entrepreneur, several major brands have interrupted their advertising expenditure on the social network, in particular fearing being associated with toxic content due to the relaxation of content moderation. According to the NGO Media Matters, half of Twitter’s 100 main advertisers have announced that they are suspending or “apparently have suspended” their spending on the social network.

Read alsoElon Musk’s bankers are biting their fingers after Twitter takeover

Wave of fake accounts

By selling Twitter certification badges, Elon Musk unwittingly triggered a spiral of creation of fake “certified” accounts and perhaps permanently damaged the business model of the microblogging site, which he bought on October 28. . At the beginning of November, and for several days, clever little guys had fun creating fake profiles of celebrities, companies or politicians, which they had certified by buying the badge, offered for sale 8 euros per month . This is how we saw on the network appear a fake account of American basketball player Lebron James asking for his transfer from the Los Angeles Lakers or two accounts allegedly hosted by George W. Bush and Tony Blair discussing their regrets of no longer being able to “killing Iraqis”. And we no longer count the brands trappedfrom Lockheed Martin to Nestlé or Pepsi, which in a tweet celebrates its competitor Coca-Cola, or even… Tesla, the parent company of Elon Musk

(With AFP and Reuters)

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