Twitter: $8 Verification On Hold Until After Midterms


Twitter will hold off on a new system that charges subscribers $7.99 a month for verification until after the midterm elections.

That’s according to a Sunday (Nov. 6) report by the New York Times, citing an internal post seen by the newspaper and two sources familiar with the decision.

The move came after a number of Twitter users and workers expressed concerns that the new system could lead to confusion as the election approached, as users could easily pay to create verified accounts posing as politicians or members of the media and disseminate fraudulent election info.

In an internal Slack channel, one Twitter worker asked why the social media platform was “making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference,” the Times said.

While it’s not clear how Twitter would prevent impersonations after the new system is in place, new owner Elon Musk appeared to address the issue on the platform Saturday (Nov. 5).

“Twitter will suspend the account attempting impersonation and keep the money!” he said in a tweet, accompanied by a gif of Clint Eastwood in his “Dirty Harry” role. “So if scammers want to do this a million times, that’s just a whole bunch of free money.”

Read more: Elon Musk Reports ‘Massive Drop in Revenue’ as Companies Pause Twitter Ads

The social network has had a hectic week since Musk took ownership on Oct. 27: he fired the company’s senior staff, dissolved its board — becoming Twitter’s sole director — and laid off thousands of workers (some of whom were invited back this weekend, according to media reports on Sunday).

Twitter had also proposed charging users a fee of $19.99 per month for its Twitter Blue subscription platform, a number Musk dialed back to $7.99 after getting pushback.

Friday saw the world’s richest man use the platform to announce “a massive drop in revenue,” which he blamed on “activists” pressuring advertisers to suspend their spending.

General Mills, Mondelez International and Pfizer are among the many companies who paused their advertising on Twitter since Musk’s arrival.