Elon Musk is taking another stab at verifying Twitter accounts, the social media company’s new owner announced Friday.
The revamped check system is the latest change the billionaire Tesla CEO has made to Twitter as he overhauls its policies and practices after buying the platform for $44 billion last month.
“Sorry for the delay, we are tentatively doing a confirmed launch on Friday next week,” Musk said on Twitter. “Gold checks for companies, gray checks for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually verified before checks are activated. Painful, but necessary.”
Musk noted that all individual Twitter accounts will have the same blue icon, without distinguishing between celebrities and ordinary people who may share a name with a celebrity.
“All verified individual human beings will have the same blue check, because the threshold of what constitutes ‘remarkable’ is otherwise very subjective,” he said. Musk added that some people can get a “secondary little logo” that shows they belong to an organization provided the organization verifies it.
Musk reiterated that accounts impersonating others would be banned. However, beyond that, it is up to the viewer to distinguish between the different types of “verified” accounts.
“Organizational affiliation, bio and number of followers distinguish between people who actually have the same name,” he said.
A second stab at authentication
This is Musk’s second attempt to overhaul Twitter’s authentication system. The previous plan was to issue a Blue Check to any account paying $8 a month.Hours after the rollout, a wave of fake accounts mocked corporations including Eli Lilly, Nintendo, Lockheed Martin and even Musk’s own business, Tesla and SpaceX, as well as professional athletes.
Originally, the blue check was reserved for government agencies, corporations, celebrities and journalists verified by the platform.
Already, however, some users are pointing out potential flaws in Musk’s latest plan. Technology researcher Jean Minchon Wong noted that colorblind users will not be able to distinguish between different checkmark colors.
Earlier this week, Musk restored a waveincluding conservative firebrands Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, Jordan Patterson, Andrew Tate and former President Donald Trump.
On Thursday, Musk announced that he would.Previously banned accounts that “have not violated the law or engaged in egregious spam” came back after a poll asking about “amnesty” for such accounts with 72% responding in favor. Came.
Zach Meyers, senior research fellow at the Center for European Reform think tank, said granting amnesties based on online polls was an “arbitrary approach” that was difficult to reconcile with the “Digital Services Act”, a new EU law that will start applying. on major online platforms by mid-2023.
The purpose of this law is to protect Internet users from illegal content and to reduce the spread of harmful but legal content. Meyers said this requires the major social media platforms to be “diligent and objective” in enforcing the restrictions, which should be clearly spelled out in fine print for users when signing up. The UK is also working on its own online safety law.
Verifying individual human users can also take a long time. Since taking office, Musk has laid back.With a myriad of contractors responsible for content moderation. Several others, including the company’s head of trust and safety, have resigned.
Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, Tweeted That company’s recent layoffs, along with a recent report showing the platform had fallen behind in cracking down on hate speech this spring, “are cause for concern.”
In a meeting with Twitter executives, Randers said they stressed that “we expect Twitter to meet its voluntary commitments and comply with EU laws,” including the Digital Services Act and Block strict privacy regulations known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
The Associated Press contributed to the reporting.