The Twitter social media platform, led by new leader Elon Musk, will introduce an “Official” label for legitimate verified accounts such as major media outlets and governments when it launches its new premium subscription product for $8 on Tuesday, Esther Crawford announced.
According to Crawford, Twitter Blue subscriptions that will allow paid users to have blue checkmarks on their accounts will not actually verify users.
As ID verification is not available, there will likely be concerns about people impersonating public figures. Twitter has already delayed releasing the new version of Twitter Blue until after the midterm elections on Tuesday, said Yoel Roth, the company’s safety and integrity executive.
Researchers and sources familiar with the matter say fake accounts for government officials are a recurring problem on Twitter worldwide.
Not all Twitter accounts that were previously verified with blue check marks will get the “Official” label, Crawford said, and the label cannot be purchased. She tweeted that governments, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some other public figures will receive the official label.
According to Jason Goldman, a former member of Twitter’s board of directors and head of product during its early years, “the introduction of a new label alongside the existing checkmarks creates a confusing system” where some, but not all, previously verified accounts will be deemed official. “It’s a complete mess,” he said.
A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Twitter policy executives pushed for the official label due to concerns about government officials around the world unwilling to pay for verified check marks.
Twitter, which lost many of its communication team members, did not respond to further inquiries.
Crawford added “Twitter will continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types.”