Twitter Rolling Out $8 Monthly Fee

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The Twitter changes continue: The platform has announced a subscription service for $7.99 a month that includes a blue check now given only to verified accounts. In an update to Apple iOS devices available in the USC, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, Twitter said users who “sign up now” for the new “Twitter Blue with verification” can receive the blue check next to their names “just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow.” It was not immediately clear when the subscription would go live. Twitter’s Esther Crawford tells the AP it is coming “soon but it hasn’t launched yet.” Currently verified accounts did not appear to be losing their checks so far.

Anyone being able to get the blue check could lead to confusion and the rise of disinformation ahead of Tuesday’s elections, but Musk tweeted Saturday in response to a question about the risk of impostors impersonating profiles—such as politicians and election officials—that “Twitter will suspend the account attempting impersonation and keep the money! So if scammers want to do this a million times, that’s just a whole bunch of free money.”

But many fear widespread layoffs that began Friday could gut the guardrails of content moderation and verification on the social platform that public agencies, election boards, police departments, and news outlets use to keep people reliably informed. The change will end Twitter’s current verification system, which was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians. Twitter now has about 423,000 verified accounts, many of them rank-and-file journalists from around the globe that the company verified regardless of how many followers they had. (Musk and Stephen King were haggling over the verification cost.)

(Read more Twitter stories.)

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