Elon Musk’s latest change on Twitter is to make government accounts gray and corporate accounts gold.
By Philip Moyer | Published
Good news for anyone willing to pay Elon Musk $8 for a Twitter tick! According to The Hollywood Reporter, the billionaire plans to relaunch his verification system next week. The paid checkmark remains blue, but checkmarks identifying governments turn gray and corporate checkmarks turn gold.
When Elon Musk launched his Twitter verification system earlier in November, the $8 check marks were the same color as every other account’s verification check marks — which were used to identify official accounts and real people. Twitter’s trust and security team reportedly warned Musk that this move would lead to scammers and impersonators abusing the new verification system. Musk launched the new system anyway. In a shocking twist, scammers and impersonators took advantage of the new verification system.
Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter, he’s seemed committed to promoting the blue check mark as a status symbol. The new paid checkmark will remain the same color as verified celebrities and other public figures. Elon Musk has stated that Twitter will manually authenticate the newly verified accounts so that everyone knows that the blue tick means a real person paid Elon Musk $8.
In addition to the new verification system, the social media company has undergone a number of other sweeping changes over the past month. Elon Musk fired Twitter executives immediately after purchasing the company. He then laid off half of Twitter’s workforce. He recently announced plans to bring back suspended accounts shortly after reactivating former President Donald Trump’s suspended account.
These changes come as Elon Musk tries to make Twitter profitable. He has previously said that the social media site, which he saddled with $13 billion in debt to complete his purchase, is losing $4 million every day.
Elon Musk’s changes on Twitter have not been without consequences. Advertisers have fled the platform en masse, according to Media Matters for America. As of November 21, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have stopped advertising on Twitter. These advertisers had paid $750 million to Twitter so far in 2022 — about $2.3 million per day. This means that unless Musk’s changes to the platform generate about $6 million in daily savings this month, the company will continue to operate at huge losses.
It’s unclear whether the advertisers who fled Elon Musk’s Twitter will stay away from the platform, which is reportedly more active than at any time since Musk took charge. It’s also unclear how popular the new verification system will be, but it must be hugely popular to make up for the company’s reported financial shortfall.
On top of Twitter’s apparent financial problems, the company is now facing lawsuits from laid-off employees who claim that the massive layoffs were inconsistent with California law. Elon Musk was also sued by fired Twitter employees in Ghana, leading Twitter to negotiate with the employees to offer the legally required severance pay.
Time will tell how Elon Musk’s new Twitter verification system will turn out. It is certainly possible that his limited staff will be able to successfully handle impersonation with their new manual verification system. However, it’s unlikely enough people will pay $8 a month to make a dent in the company’s $4 million daily loss — a staggering sum equivalent to 15 million paying users.