Twitter removes "old" certification badges

The Twitter logo. © DADO RUVIC / REUTERS

Text by: RFI Follow

3 min

It was until now a symbol of recognition on Twitter, reserved for personalities and organizations, but from this Saturday, April 1, the famous blue mark should disappear from all profiles, except those who will pay to take advantage of it.


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After a first abortive attempt, Elon Musk intends to carry out this evolution, against all odds. This blue logo, affixed next to the name of the profile, has become, since its creation in 2009, one of the essential brands on Twitter, courted by accounts that wanted to be certified.

One of its first decisions, after buying the network in 2022, was to redesign Twitter Blue, the paid version of Twitter, by incorporating certification, a reform that quickly turned into a fiasco. In the hours that followed, fake accounts, but certified, flourished, posing as celebrities or large companies, sometimes not without consequence: the title of pharmaceutical group Eli Lilly plunged because of an ad on one of these fake accounts. Faced with a tide of fake accounts himself, Elon Musk backed down, instituting a system of verification of subscribers of the option, but too late: many of the major advertisers left Twitter, reducing the network's revenue.

$1,500 subscription for businesses

Elon Musk tries the experiment again a few months later, wanting to make his investment of $ 44 billion in Twitter profitable as soon as possible. All certified users will have to pay and first companies, governments and NGOs for a fee with a subscription of $ 1,500 per month (1,380 euros).

If it is a company or NGO, the account will have a gold badge, as well as a square profile picture. If it concerns a government or multilateral organization, the account will benefit from a grey badge. As for the blue badge, it will only indicate "that an account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meets the eligibility criteria," says the social network.

This new verification system had been announced for weeks and many personalities, NGOs and online media on Twitter, have already indicated that they will not pay at the risk of losing their certification. A spokesman for the New York Times assured that the daily will not pay and will only do so, on a case-by-case basis, "when verified status is essential to the job", for its journalists. As for the Washington Post, we prefer to wait to see the consequences of the change.


Instead of reforming his platform in a way that promotes access to reliable information, Elon Musk is making it a two-tier space, where only those who pay have a say, regardless of whether or not they produce information of general interest. " said Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Since its acquisition, Elon Musk has largely cut in the workforce and at the same time restored access to those whose accounts had been blocked, causing an explosion of hate speech and online violence, according to organizations monitoring social networks.

If the model makes people cringe, while the idea is emulated: Facebook is currently testing it in Australia and New Zealand.

► Read also: Interview - Twitter: "The real project of Elon Musk is political"


And with AFP)

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