Twitter Launches Grey Tick For Influential Accounts, Deletes It Later


In the latest round of changes brought to Twitter’s verification system, owner Elon Musk said that he already “killed” the new “official” designation on Wednesday. The changes are now visible for some of the platform’s biggest names earlier in the day.
Twitter product executive Esther Crawford gave out the details about the way the social network’s new verification scheme would work on Tuesday.

Some originally verified accounts would have an “official” label, Crawford said, while any user who pays $7.99 per month for Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription product, would sport a blue check mark. She did not specify what it took to get the “official” status.

As of Wednesday morning, several Twitter accounts, including CNBC, sported an “official” designation. By Wednesday afternoon, those labels, which appeared as gray check marks, disappeared.

In an audio meeting through “Twitter Spaces” with advertisers on Wednesday, Musk said the “official” badge was “simply another way of creating a two-class system” and “wasn’t addressing the core problem.”

Crawford also acknowledged the change of course on Wednesday, writing in a tweet that “There are no sacred cows in product at Twitter anymore.”
She added, “Elon is willing to try lots of things — many will fail, some will succeed. The goal is to find the right mix of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.”

In another tweet, Crawford said the “official” label will still go out as part of the Twitter Blue launch, but it will just focus on government and commercial entities for the time being.

Musk, who is currently serving as Twitter’s CEO and sole director, has criticized Twitter’s original verification system, which gives a blue tick to important users, likely to be impersonated by bad actors.

Blue checks originally went to verify the identity of government officials, politicians, celebrities, some journalists, executives, medical professionals and organizations whose identity the company had verified. Musk himself has benefited from having the Twitter verification check mark. So have myriad journalists, including at CNBC.

Under Musk’s direction, the new Twitter Blue check mark will instead work as a paying subscriber badge that the company nonetheless plans to call “verification.” The subscription service has become a major focus for Musk, who wants the platform to become less reliant on advertisers and generate more revenue from subscriptions.

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