Elon Musk defended Friday, March 31, his controversial decision to charge users who wish to have a certified account on Twitter, believing that social networks that will not follow his example will eventually decline, overwhelmed by fake accounts.
"The major challenge here is that it's very simple to create 10,000 or 100,000 fake accounts on Twitter with a single computer and modern AI," Musk said during a Q&A session on his platform, the day before the switch to paid certification, which is due to become effective on April 1. "It is for this reason that verification can only be done with a phone number and credit card," he added, "my prediction is that the so-called social networks that will not do it will collapse."
>> Read also: "Change the rules of the game": the challenges of paid certification on Twitter
The businessman is also desperate to find a way to generate revenue for a company that he says has lost more than half of its value since its takeover, for more than $40 billion.
A subscription at 8 dollars per month
However, this evolution of the system raises many questions among companies, celebrities, politicians and journalists who use Twitter as one of their main means of communication and could count on this certification as proof of their credibility.
It also raises the question of imposters and jokers who will pay for certification but for a fake account. In the US, the subscription, called Twitter Blue, costs $8 a month, $11 through Apple's app store.
Since its creation in 2009, blue certification has become an essential element in making the social network a trusted forum for many users. But Elon Musk has always considered this sign as the symbol of a form of digital class system and opening certification to anyone who would like to pay for it was one of the first decisions made by the billionaire when he bought the social network last year.
Without much success however: the launch of the first version of the subscription leading to a tide of fake accounts, sometimes personifying Elon Musk himself, forcing him to back down but losing in the process many of his advertisers, scalded, and at the same time an essential part of the platform's revenue.
For now, it is unclear whether the new system will be widely adopted or not. The White House, which will keep a special symbol as a government entity, has already announced that it will not pay for the accounts of its employees, according to the specialized site Axios.
Similarly, the majority of media and companies are waiting to see how things will play out before deciding whether or not to pay $1,000 per month, and an additional $50 per account, in the United States.
The summary of the week France 24 invites you to look back on the news that marked the week
Take international news with you everywhere! Download the France 24 app