Elon Musk has been lambasted over his latest decision to charge people £7 ($8) as a monthly fee to retain their blue tick- a symbol that was earlier used to represent verified accounts. Mr Musk who recently took over the charge of Twitter said that the social media platform will charge £7 monthly to Twitter users who want a blue tick by their name indicating a verified account.
As part of changes after a $44bn (£38bn) takeover of the social media site, Mr Musk said it was “essential to defeat spam/scam”.
A blue tick mark next to a username – normally for high-profile figures – is at the moment free.
The decision to pay for a verified account has not gone down well with several social media users who believed that the move will impact the authenticity of verified accounts.
American tennis player Martina Navratilova said: “I didn’t ask for the blue check mark- it just showed up one day, so feel free to take it away. My peeps know it’s me.”
Russian-American actor Eugene Mirman also opposed the move and tweeted: “Isn’t a blue check mark just a sign that you’re really yourself?
“If we don’t pay does someone else become us both on Twitter and in real life?
“If so, I hope they raise my son well and are kind to my loved ones. It was very nice being me for a while though.”
The BBC reported that Twitter’s former method of verifying users for a blue tick included a short online application form, and was reserved for those whose identities were targets for impersonation, such as celebrities, politicians and journalists.
READ MORE: Putin replacements ‘smell blood’ as Kremlin shakeup predicted
Upset over the announcement, Dr Joy Henningsen tweeted: “Doctors are p****d too. It doesn’t sit well with me that ‘demon sperm’ doctor will be given the same platform/credibility as those of us sharing accurate information to help people.
“You won’t find this funny when someone you know is duped by medical misinformation.”
Another social media user JannisZ said: “The checkmark used to be something special and u always looked forward to it and now every single one can get it and we have to pay now to keep it doesn’t make sense.”
A third social media user Biggestjoel tweeted: “What does elon musk think the blue checks are for, like does he think they’re literally a badge that lets you know you’re better than people?
“And if it’s an arbitrary class signifier, why would anyone buy it for eight dollars a month? Deeply strange.”
Another user Troyoboyo17 tweeted: “It’s really just insane to me that verification is literally in place to prevent impersonators and bots, a problem that’s rampant right now on the YouTube platform, and now it’s just a premium feature. Like… it’s called ‘verified’ for a reason.”