Elon Musk told Twitter employees on Monday that the company would not relaunch its paid verification subscription, Twitter Blue, until “we are satisfied that significant impersonations will not occur,” according to a recording of his statement obtained by The edge.
Musk said last week that his $8-a-month Blue subscription would be available again on November 29. But during the meeting with employees, he said the timing of the launch was unclear: “We could launch it next week. We might not. But we’re not going to launch until there’s high confidence in protecting against these important identity thefts.
It’s unclear how Musk intends to prevent accounts from impersonating others with the blue tick, since Twitter Blue does not verify that someone’s identity is who they say they are. Since Musk took over, Twitter has added and removed distinct gray checkmarks on high-profile accounts without explanation, likely as part of its effort to distinguish itself from the blue checkmark that has become something anyone can to buy.
During today’s meeting with Twitter employees, Musk said the company will “probably” need to give “institutions and businesses” “different color control,” but didn’t elaborate, noting that “It’s always something we think about.”
“Any given social media platform, in my view, no matter what it is, will be vulnerable to bots and trolls unless there is a payment barrier to dramatically increase the cost of bots and trolls,” he said. He also told employees that Twitter was done with layoffs and rehires, according to a recording of the meeting obtained by The edge.
After this story was published, Musk confirmed in a tweet that the company “was holding back relaunching Blue Verified until there is a high degree of confidence in stopping identity theft” and that we “will likely use different color verification for organizations than for the individuals”.
Musk has made Twitter Blue a top priority within the company as part of his efforts to diversify the company’s revenue away from advertising, which he said has seen a “massive decline” since taking office.
Twitter’s entire communications department has been fired or resigned, so there’s no one to contact for comment.