The Problem With Elon Musk’s Plan To Charge Twitter Users For A Blue Tick
"Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that 'free speech' is actually a $8/mo subscription plan".
Here’s a fun question: how much money does it take to start a massive brawl between the owner of one of the largest social media platforms in the world and an assorted bunch of celebrities? Funnily enough, exactly eight dollars!
Within the first month as the fresh CEO of Twitter, eccentric billionaire and space enthusiast Elon Musk has already caused a ruckus by signalling that verified users on the platform — brandishing that illustrious blue tick — should expect to pay a monthly fee of $8 USD to uphold the esteemed privilege.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
While the old ‘pivot to subscription service’ manoeuvre ain’t exactly a new trick for a modern business with money woes, Musk’s idea already has an abundance of detractors due to the fact that allowing users on a website notorious for proliferating fake news to simply purchase a label to authenticate their content as legit is probably a really, really bad idea.
As reported by The New York Times, the service is supposed to be launching as early as next week, and will potentially allow subscribers to purchase that trusty blue check mark without ID authentication. But seeing as the blue tick used to represent a user as ‘verified’ — i.e, real, human, and trustworthy — anyone being able to purchase the tick completely dilutes the concept of verification, and makes it kinda unclear what exactly you’re paying $96 per year to receive from the service.
We saw internal docs with more insight into the new Twitter Blue:
-Launch on Nov. 7 but only in current markets (US, CA, Aus, NZ)
-Check marks for subscribers, no current ID authentication
-Some features announced by Musk won’t be ready
-Euro launch soonhttps://t.co/K646aQrThi pic.twitter.com/1jToHytXfi
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) November 3, 2022
Twitter being Twitter, in recent days Musk has been forced to publicly defend his ambitious plan from all manner of online identities. Even ubiquitous horror writer Steven King has been airing his grievances personally with the SpaceX CEO in 300-character protest posts.
what stage of capitalism is this pic.twitter.com/LhtYwcI0Ll
— Emily Herring (@EtheHerring) November 1, 2022
However, perhaps signposting the dark future ahead for the social media platform, American Democrat and activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez complained that her account appeared to be “bricked” shortly after a very public clash with the Twitter CEO online.
Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that “free speech” is actually a $8/mo subscription plan
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 2, 2022
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2022
Yo @elonmusk while I have your attention, why should people pay $8 just for their app to get bricked when they say something you don’t like?
This is what my app has looked like ever since my tweet upset you yesterday. What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me 🤔 pic.twitter.com/e3hcZ7T9up
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 3, 2022
As the company reportedly experiences vicious lay-offs and extremely tight deadlines to bring Musk’s plans for Twitter to fruition, it certainly seems that everyone’s favourite micro-blogging site is in for rocky couple of months ahead.