Twitter to launch gold and grey verification ticks alongside blue check mark, in 'painful, but necessary' move, says Elon Musk

Twitter will roll out gold and grey verification check marks when it relaunches the delayed blue tick service next week, owner Elon Musk has announced.

The move was "painful, but necessary", the billionaire chief executive said in a post on the social media platform.

All verified accounts will be manually authenticated before the tick is activated, said Mr Musk.

He wrote: "Gold check for companies, grey check for governments, blue for individuals (celebrities or not). Painful, but necessary."

In a further tweet, Mr Musk said: "Individuals can have a secondary tiny logo to show they belong to an organisation if verified as such by that organisation."

He added a longer explanation would be provided next week.

The social media platform put on hold its recently announced $8 blue tick subscription service in the face of soaring fake accounts and said it would be relaunched on 29 November.

The blue check mark was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, celebrities, journalists and other public figures.

The details of the revamped authentication scheme come after Mr Musk announced he will grant an "amnesty" for suspended Twitter accounts, prompting warnings over a rise in harassment, hate speech and misinformation.

The tycoon had asked his more than 118 million followers to vote in a poll on reinstatements for accounts that have not "broken the law or engaged in egregious spam".

The yes vote was 72%.

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The Tesla and SpaceX boss had previously reinstated the account of former president Donald Trump, almost two years after he was removed.

Mr Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter in January 2021 after the attack by his supporters on the US Capitol that left several people dead.

Twitter said the decision, after the riot, was "due to the risk of further incitement of violence".

But the former US president has told supporters he did not see "any reason" for returning to Twitter.

Following Mr Musk's $44bn Twitter takeover, many workers were either sacked by the company to cut costs, or left voluntarily.