opinion I decided to sign up for Twitter’s subscription-based service for one simple reason: to put my money where my mouth is.
I’m a verified user, but I don’t care about the blue tick as a status icon. I requested it as a token of authenticity because a lot of sites cut and paste The registry to scrape pennies out of search ads. Scum using this as a business model could easily adapt stolen stories to include a fake twitter profile smearing my name or misleading people.
I do care for the group of friends, contacts, colleagues and sources I have interacted with over the 15 years that I have been using Twitter. I’m user number 1,407,461 (Elon Musk is number 44,196,397) and I feel like Twitter has given me a lot: some of my 52,000+ tweets have helped me do this job well, make friends and myself to connect with my family during some of her most difficult moments.
A modest monthly contribution to a website that is a big part of my personal and professional life is an investment worth trying.
However, only test. Elon Musk was wrong and foolish to claim that the blue tick is a symbol of a class division between “lords and pawns” that can be bought, rather than a mark of trust that benefits the community. Fortunately, Twitter changed its mind and introduced a category of “official” accounts to signal authenticity to certain users.
Many people have asked how to distinguish between them @TwitterBlue Subscribers with blue ticks and accounts verified as Official, which is why we’re adding the Official label to select accounts at launch. pic.twitter.com/0p2Ae5nWpO
— Esther Crawford ✨ (@esthercrawford) November 8, 2022
The following tweets from Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Head of Safety & Integrity, also give me optimism because they show that the new management understands that a core concern of all social media services is that they are unelected and unaccountable Arbitrators of public conversations.
For years, verification on Twitter has been difficult because it’s a signal of both authenticity (you are who you say you are) and notoriety (you’re “important” by some standard).
Awareness is inherently difficult to measure globally in a fair manner. I support abolition.
— Yoel Roth (@yoyoel) November 8, 2022
So I believe that paying for verified account status undermines social media’s undeserved authority and shifts it back to the users.
In an ideal world, this debate would not be necessary. Those who created social media services should have foreseen its abuse and built the proper infrastructure to deter and prevent it — rather than letting their venture capitalists drive for growth at all costs.
But these investors paid off ages ago, leaving an unsustainable business behind their yachts. Twitter’s management has never shown it can develop or execute a plan to fix the business.
Another built-in flaw of social media is that its users know — to paraphrase Oscar Wilde — that the price is zero, but they don’t understand its value.
Musk’s plan to charge verified accounts — to impose a non-zero price on them — is by no means a serious boost in revenue. However, there is a challenge for users: think of the value of Twitter.
It’s by no means a perfect plan. The service’s value to some is that it can stir up a mob. But Musk is at least trying to address the unhelpful mutations of social media — and while he carries on like a pork chop in the public eye, his other companies deliver exceptional products.
He put his money on the line, so I’m willing to do the same. For a while. ®
https://www.theregister.com/2022/11/10/twitter_verified_opinion/ I pay Twitter $8/month to put my money where my mouth is • The Register