Elon Musk announces his newest Twitter verification plan

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In the murky depths of a Twitter reply chain, Elon Musk has revealed further details and even a new timeline for his overhauled verification system for the platform. 

After previously teasing that the blue check marks for verified accounts could change color, Musk confirmed on Friday that organizations would shortly receive gold checks and that government officials would have gray checks, as early as next week. 

Replying in a thread to The Crypto King and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Musk added that all other verified persons, “celebrity or not,” would keep the original blue ticks. But, they will also all be manually authenticated. “Painful, but necessary,” he said. 

When pushed for an explanation, Musk replied: “All verified individual humans will have same blue check, as boundary of what constitutes ‘notable’ is otherwise too subjective. Individuals can have secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an org if verified as such by that org.” 

According to Musk, this latest change will come into fruition on Dec. 2 after having been pushed back from his initial Nov. 29 deadline. 

It marks a shift from the billionaire CEO’s original plan to make the blue verification tick, first designed to stop imitation, available to anyone willing to pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue, the premium service that enables users to edit their tweets and unsend, among other features. It appears that those paying for Twitter Blue will now be verified manually.

Experiments cause chaos

Musk swiftly backtracked on the blue-tick-for-all system after it led to a wave of imitations.

Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin were victims of imposters who set up fake verified profiles to tweet company announcements that sent the companies’ stock prices plummeting.  

In a further experiment, Musk’s Twitter tested out using a gray “official” tick for certain accounts, which was switched on and off multiple times. To tackle impersonation, Musk then said that all imposter blue-check accounts that weren’t clearly labelled “parody” would be permanently suspended

In addition to new verification colors, Musk now also plans to reinstate almost all previously suspended accounts, after putting the decision to a Twitter poll — 72% of voters said yes. 

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