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Twitter attempts to sort out verification system with new badges

After weeks of chaos that marked Elon Musk’s first month in charge of Twitter, the man himself said the platform’s suspended verification system will relaunch on December 2. And it’ll be markedly different than before.

Musk said in a tweet (below) that starting on Friday, companies will begin receiving a gold check mark, while government accounts will receive a gray one. Meanwhile, individuals who pay for Twitter Blue, whether or not they’re a prominent figure, will receive the traditional blue mark.

But importantly, paying $8 per month for Twitter Blue membership won’t necessarily lead to the award of a verification mark, as Musk said that “all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates,” though how exactly this will be done has yet to be revealed. Musk described the decision to manually process accounts as “painful, but necessary.”

Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week.

Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates.

Painful, but necessary.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 25, 2022

When Musk sealed the deal to take ownership of Twitter at the end of October, the billionaire entrepreneur moved quickly to raise the monthly fee of Twitter Blue — the platform’s premium tier that offers extra features — from $5 to $8 in a bid to generate revenue for the business. However, Musk changed it so that the fee also got you a blue check mark, whether or not you were a prominent figure, business, or organization (before, the check marks were only awarded following a verification process).

This led to confusion on the platform as numerous imitators paid the fee to get a blue “verification” mark and then tweeted from what was effectively a bogus account.

As a result, Twitter decided to pause Twitter Blue sign-ups and also the verification system while it concentrated on devising a more effective arrangement.

Whether the new badges bring an end to the long-running verification saga remains to be seen.

It’s been a turbulent month at Twitter, with mass staff layoffs also hitting the headlines, along with a controversial move to reinstate many previously banned accounts as part of an amnesty on the platform.

But despite the situation, Twitter is gaining a lot of new users, according to Musk, who said over the weekend that signups are at an “all time high,” averaging over 2 million per day in the seven days to November 16, marking a 66% increase over the same week in 2021.

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Trevor Mogg
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