Elon Musk has rolled back on Twitter’s latest approach to verification – offering grey ticks and an ‘Official’ label to high-profile accounts – just hours after it had begun to roll out on the platform.
It comes as the platform prepares to start allowing any user to sign up for its blue-tick verification badge by signing up to the firm’s Twitter Blue subscription service and paying a monthly fee.
In response to concerns this would make it harder to identify authentic accounts on the site as Blue subscribers will not be required to verify who they are, Twitter announced it was adding a second, “Official” badge to select accounts as a way of distinguishing Blue subscribers from those the platform has verified as official.
Some industry commentators argued the new double-verification process would only make the system more confusing.
The Twitter CEO appeared to listen to the criticism, rolling back on the move just hours after the new grey Official badge had begun to appear on a number of high-profile accounts, including those for major news organisations and public figures.
I just killed it
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 9, 2022
In response to a post about the new official badges disappearing, Mr Musk tweeted: “I killed it.”
He added in another tweet that Twitter will continue to do “lots of dumb things” in the coming months.
“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months,” he said.
“We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”
The changes to the verification system have been a central part of Elon Musk’s plans since the billionaire completed his takeover of the site last month.
Twitter usage is at an all-time high lol
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 8, 2022
Musk said opening the verification process up to more people will help democratise Twitter and cut down on the spam and bot accounts on the site.
However, critics have argued charging people to get a blue badge and the other perks that come with it – including verified replies appearing more prominently – will only help those who are able to pay for it and not the platform’s authentic users as a whole.
The introduction of the eight US dollar (£7) monthly fee for Twitter Blue is also part of Musk’s efforts to create new revenue streams for Twitter.
The platform is currently almost entirely dependent on money from advertising – an income stream already shrinking because of the global economic downturn.
There have also been reports advertisers could withdraw from the site if Musk enacts some of his other controversial plans for Twitter, including allowing banned accounts such as that of Donald Trump to return.