(702 Times, NV Globe) – Twitter has begun to apply gray “official” badges to select high-profile accounts to signal authenticity, the latest twist in new owner Elon Musk’s frantic reworking of the platform’s authentication system.
Media outlets such as The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as corporations such as Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola, earned formal recognition on Wednesday.
The existing technique of employing “blue checks” to certify an account’s legitimacy will be phased out for people who do not pay a monthly subscription. The checkmarks will be accessible at a later point for anybody wanting to pay a $7.99-per-month membership, which will also include some added features such as fewer adverts and the opportunity to have tweets from non-subscribers given more prominence.
The current verification method on the site has been in place since 2009, and it was designed to guarantee that high-profile and public-facing accounts are who they claim to be.
Experts are concerned that making the checkmark available to anybody for a cost may result in impersonations and the propagation of disinformation and frauds. The gray label — a hue that blends into the backdrop whether you surf Twitter in light or dark mode — is an obvious compromise. However, it may cause further confusion because Twitter users used to seeing the blue check as an indication of validity will now have to hunt for the less evident “official” label.
Esther Crawford, a Twitter staffer working on the verification upgrade, tweeted on Tuesday that the “official” designation will be applied to “chosen accounts” when the new system goes live.
“Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” said Crawford, who recently was the subject of a viral photo showing her sleeping on the floor of a Twitter office while working to meet Musk’s deadlines.
Crawford stated that those who have received the designation include government accounts, commercial businesses, business partners, significant media outlets, publishers, and certain public celebrities.
The departing system has around 423,000 confirmed accounts. Many of them are owned by celebrities, corporations, politicians, and media outlets.
However, a huge proportion of verified accounts belong to individual journalists, some of whom have small followings in local newspapers and news sites throughout the world. The goal was to authenticate reporters’ identities so that they couldn’t be exploited to spread fake information on Twitter.
Musk had previously proposed various methods of marking official accounts beyond the blue check.
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