Twitter launches $8 monthly subscription with blue checkmark

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Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system by launching a new subscription service [Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters]

Twitter begins subscription service that includes blue checkmark that currently is given only to verified accounts.

Twitter has launched a subscription service for $7.99 a month that includes a blue check now given only to verified accounts as new owner Elon Musk overhauls the platform’s verification system just ahead of midterm elections in the United States.

In an update to Apple iOS devices, Twitter on Saturday said users who “sign up now” can receive the blue check next to their names “just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow”. So far, verified accounts do not appear to be losing their checks.

Anyone being able to get the blue check could lead to confusion and the rise of disinformation ahead of Tuesday’s elections if imposters decide to pay for the subscription and co-opt the names of politicians and election officials.

Along with widespread layoffs that began Friday, many fear the social platform that public agencies, election boards, police departments and news outlets use to keep people reliably informed could become lawless if content moderation and verification are chipped away.

The change represents the end of Twitter’s current verification system, which was launched in 2009 to prevent impersonations of high-profile accounts such as celebrities and politicians.

Before the overhaul, Twitter had about 423,000 verified accounts, many of them rank-and-file journalists from around the globe that the company verified regardless of how many followers they had.

Experts have raised grave concerns about upending the platform’s verification system that, while not perfect, has helped Twitter’s 238 million daily users determine whether the accounts they were getting information from were authentic.

Current verified accounts include celebrities, athletes, influencers and other high-profile public figures, along with government agencies and politicians worldwide, journalists and news outlets, activists, as well as businesses and brands.

Also on Saturday, UN human rights chief Volker Turk urged Musk to ensure respect for human rights is central to the social network, in an open letter.

“Like all companies, Twitter needs to understand the harms associated with its platform and take steps to address them. Respect for our shared human rights should set the guardrails for the platform’s use and evolution. In short, I urge you to ensure human rights are central to the management of Twitter under your leadership,” Turk wrote.

SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES
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Ousman Jah Web Developer and Graphic Designer Ousman Jah a Gambian national specialized in IT solutions and web development with more than 15 years working experience in the field. A graphics designer and specialist in UX/UI with a plethora of neatly acquired abilities for today’s web design and development. He contributed to most top-level national projects both in the Gambia, Senegal and internationally. He was one of the main actors and contributors to the GAMBIS project on both setting up and design of the National ID, Driver's License Cards etc. He also built and assisted on the IEC website to display live election results online in the 2011 and 2016 Presidential Elections. He has vast experience ranging from administration, HR, Tech departments in management and handling. Also experienced in the new technologies such as cloud hosting, Google Workspace email setting up and worked on Azure as well as AWS services. He was the SharePoint specialist as well as CRM to both customers and company. As part of his expertise, he masters eCard design and implementation with vast experience gained from the GAMBIS ID card project. With an extensive knowledge on a lot of subjects, Ousman believes he is part of the People of the Arts, Sciences, Music, Mathematics, Philosophy... but he chose Creative Arts into Modernized World Modern Design Needs and Technology in the IT World. Over the years, Ousman has managed to blend his passion for Graphic design with modern software technology applications. He studied at the Management Development Institute and earned an ICM Certificate in Professional Computing & Information Processing. Ousman’s strength lies in his ability to respond to multiple tasks where quality is an assured feature. Calm, focus and meticulous makes his fine finishes an envy of other designers in the market. He is a specialist in user manual & documentation illustration as well as a great trainer in any IT related field. He enjoys being a freelance web developer at Web Plus Graphics and has setup various platforms of national interest among which Gambia All Events, Gambian Legends and JobLinks. He is the current Web manager of Alkamba Times.

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