Twitter said Tuesday it will add a gray “official” label to some high-profile accounts to indicate they’re authentic, the latest twist in new owner Elon Musk’s messy overhaul of the platform’s verification system.
The site’s current system of using so-called “blue checks,” which confirm an account’s authenticity, will soon be phased out for those who don’t pay a monthly fee. The ticks will be available to anyone willing to pay a $7.99 per month subscription for a date not yet announced. It also includes some bonus features, such as B. Fewer ads and the ability to give tweets greater visibility than those of non-subscribers.
The platform’s current verification system has been in place since 2009 and was created to ensure that high-profile and public-facing accounts are who they say they are.
Experts have raised concerns that making the tick available to anyone for a fee could lead to counterfeiting and the spread of misinformation and fraud. The gray label — a color that tends to blend into the background whether you’re using light or dark mode to scroll Twitter — is an obvious compromise. But it could lead to more confusion, as Twitter users used to the blue tick as a mark of authenticity will now have to search for the less obvious “official” designation.
Esther Crawford, a Twitter contributor who worked on the verification overhaul, said Tuesday on Twitter that the label “official” will be added to “selected accounts” when the new system boots.
“Not all previously verified accounts receive the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” said Crawford, who was recently the subject of a viral photo It shows her sleeping on the floor of a Twitter office while working to meet Musk’s deadlines.
Crawford said recipients of the label include government accounts, commercial firms, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.
There are approximately 423,000 verified accounts under the outgoing system. Many of these are owned by celebrities, corporations and politicians, and media outlets.
But a large proportion of verified accounts belong to individual journalists, some with tiny followings at local newspapers and news sites around the world. The idea was to verify reporters so their identities could not be used to spread false information on Twitter.
Musk previously floated marking official accounts in ways other than the blue check.