Twitter will soon start charging users $20 to earn a ‘verified’ blue badge

Elon Musk, the richest man in the world, is planning to revamp Twitter and is exploring charging Twitter users $20 (N16,000) per month or $240 per year for a verified account, according to Forbes.

The Tesla boss plans to increase the $4.99 monthly cost of Twitter's Blue subscription service to $19.99. Existing verified users have until 90 days to comply to the proposed verification rule or risk their blue ticks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

As of 2021, there were roughly 400,000 verified members on Twitter, although the platform has long been dogged by issues. The "blue tick," which was first introduced in 2009 in response to a rising tide of celebrity worries about impersonation, quickly evolved into a status symbol rather than a simple identification mark.

Despite not explicitly responding to the news, Musk tweeted on Sunday that "the whole verification process is being revamped right now."

The news that Musk intended to charge verified accounts by scratching the current $4.99 per month was first revealed by writer Casey Newton earlier on Sunday.

He also called attention to a Monday morning Twitter poll that asked users to choose one of four options: $5, $10, $15, or "wouldn't pay" in exchange for a blue tick each month. A team assembled by Musk to assist in running the company after the $44 billion buyout includes tech investor Jason Calacanis, a close friend of Musk.

A sizable minority of poll respondents stated they would pay, but the vast majority said they would not.

Musk wants the feature to go live by November 7, and the assigned to the task has reportedly been warned that they risk being fired if they don't meet the deadline.

Although Musk has previously said he plans to charge big names and organizations for using Twitter, it is unclear how this shift will affect verified accounts of governmental organizations, political figures, public figures, or businesses.

Earlier on Sunday, Musk denied a New York Times claim that he intended to fire a large number of employees from the organization before November 1. This would preclude the employees from collecting their stock awards as part of their year-end reward, according to the report. Employees of Twitter would not receive shares of Twitter stock as per the terms of the merger agreement, but rather cash.

Musk revealed on Friday that Twitter will create a moderation council with different opinions that will decide whether to allow banned accounts to reappear on the platform. A few hours later, he reiterated that Twitter's content restrictions had not changed since then. Musk proclaimed himself a "free-speech absolutist" and pledged to turn Twitter into a refuge for free speech when he announced the company's acquisition. Musk's comments sparked worries that Twitter will relax its standards for content management, permitting hate speech to proliferate on the site. But the billionaire declared last week that he wouldn't let Twitter become into a "free-for-all hellscape, where anything can be said with no consequences."

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