How the new paid certification system sought by Elon Musk caused a stir on the social network

Confusion, in a few days. Faced with a proliferation of fake accounts, Twitter re-introduced the badge on Friday, November 11. “official” to certify certain profiles and suspend its paid authentication system. A certificate issued with a small blue badge helps ensure that an individual’s account is truly theirs and prevents identity theft. The new owner of the social network, Elon Musk, objected to the previous system.

Franceinfo returns to these changes, which led to a drop in the stock market of a pharmaceutical laboratory.

1Elon Musk launches “Twitter Blue” to make certificate payment

Since taking over Twitter on October 28, Elon Musk has been pushing for a new authentication system that costs about $8 (€7.70) a month. Since November 10, “Twitter Blue” has allowed anyone to get the blue badge, which is a guarantee of authenticity.

The billionaire justifies this choice by wanting to cancel “the existing system of lords and peasants between those with blue ticks and those without”. This innovation is primarily a means of diversifying the platform’s revenue streams, while several advertisers have temporarily withdrawn from Twitter while waiting to see how moderation of content important to their brands will evolve.

2Identity theft is on the rise

Not surprisingly, this innovation was accompanied by the proliferation of accounts posing as those of celebrities or large companies. There is a way to tell the difference between a user who paid for Twitter Blue and someone who had the button before the service went live, but it requires an extra step that most internet users don’t do.

A fake LeBron James or Joe Biden could thus pretend to be a basketball star or the President of the United States. We also saw Super Mario swipe his middle finger on a fake Nintendo account.

The parody accounts, with the names of former leaders Tony Blair and George W. Bush, talked about the war in Iraq.

A fake British Petroleum account, an oil company, also tweeted “Just because we killed the planet doesn’t mean we won’t miss it”a reference to global warming.

3This confusion leads to economic damage and political grievances

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was forced to apologize on Thursday after the success of a tweet from an account in its name that appeared on the certificate, promising free insulin. The stock fell 5% on the stock market before rallying back to the opening level.

The American political class was also affected by the situation. Senator Edward J. Markey wrote to Elon Musk asking him how the reporter was doing Washington post could create a fake account in his name. “Telling the truth is dangerous and unacceptable. Twitter needs to explain how this happened and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”he lost his temper.

On Thursday evening, the American Competition Agency (FTC) sent a rare warning to the social network. “We are following the recent events on Twitter with great concern. No CEO or company is above the law.”– the spokesman said.

4The official badge is posted, withdrawn, posted again, and then withdrawn again

In parallel with “Twitter Blue”, the social network discreetly introduced the “Official” badge on Tuesday. The accounts of elected American Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pope Francis in English, or even controversial rapper Kanye West received the “Official” badge before they disappeared.

On Wednesday morning, the billionaire announced that the record had been deleted. Shortly after, Esther Crawford, Director of Development Products, confirms that the “Official” badge is indeed “enabled”. “We’re starting with governments and commercial organizations. What (Elon Musk) noted is that we don’t currently give individuals an ‘Official’ badge.”, he says. friday, one of the company accounts It announces the return of the “Officiel” label, but it is no longer visible as of Saturday afternoon.

5The Twitter Blue subscription system has been discontinued

As of Friday, it doesn’t appear to be possible to subscribe to Twitter Blue either on the site or via the mobile app. An internal memo published by some US media explained that the service was suspended “to solve extortion problems”. “Let’s face it, Twitter is going to do a lot of stupid things in the coming months. We’ll keep what works, change what doesn’t.”warned billionaire Elon Musk.

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