Musk: Paid checkmarks won’t return until Twitter can stop impersonation

Musk: Paid tokens won't come back until Twitter can stop counterfeiting

When Elon Musk first launched the Twitter Blue subscription service, the goal was to make it possible to purchase the blue token as a desired status symbol. Now, the billionaire is backing off (for now, at least), announce in a tweet but the launch of the Blue Verified badge will be delayed, and it is likely that when it does appear, the badge distinguishing Blue Verified customers and official verified accounts will be different colors.

“Stop restarting Blue Verified until there is high confidence in stopping the flat,” Musk tweeted. “They are likely to use a different color check for organizations than individuals.”

Many Twitter users suggested this obvious solution before the fake account scandal revealed that the platform was flooded with popular but chaotic brands. That’s why Musk eliminated the option to pay $8 for Blue Verified subscriptions.

Musk’s tweet doesn’t make it clear how the multi-color check will work for organizations and individuals to prevent impersonation. Twitter staff initially warned him that scammers would use Blue Verified to impersonate world leaders or celebrities, but Musk ignored that advice at the time. While he is still seeking to salvage his original idea of ​​selling the brand to consumers over ordinary users trying to brand their celebrity status, it seems that there is still a risk that individual users will be harmed. fake account.

This week, for example, Vice reported that fake accounts used Blue Verified to impersonate FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried. That fake account relied on an in-depth video pretending to show Bankman-Fried promising to repay victims of the FTX scandal by signing them up for a cryptocurrency donation that will help them not to recover the lost money, but to double their money.

Relying on videos and verified credentials on Twitter, the fake account tricked users into visiting cryptocurrency giveaways and sending signals to scammers. In return, defrauded Twitter users got nothing, Vice said.

In this particular case, the Bankman-Fried victims were targeted by crypto scams, but these types of scams often rely on fake celebrity endorsements. If Blue Verified doesn’t distinguish between official accounts of celebrities and fake ones, it’s easy to see how these crypto scams could become a bigger problem for Twitter.

Reuters reported that Musk planned to reactivate Blue Verified next week, but his latest tweet suggests the wait will be longer.

Musk plans to release other Twitter 2.0 features

It makes sense for Musk to focus on protecting the brand from counterfeiting as a priority in its relaunch of Blue Verified, since Twitter can’t turn a profit without convincing advertisers. . But Musk has other big ideas, and he’s told his shrinking engineering team that he’ll need more hours from them to help develop the platform.

The Verge obtained a recording of Musk’s meeting on Monday, reporting that Musk’s new vision for Twitter 2.0 is a service where private messages are kept private. For Musk, that means all direct messages are saved, so he plans to work with Signal. According to Musk, Signal is “probably” interested in helping Musk make sure: “I can’t look at anyone’s DMs if someone puts a gun to my head.”

Signal, however, told Ars that the company has not yet held formal talks with Musk.

“Signal has not partnered with Twitter on this effort,” Meredith Whittaker, president of Signal, told Ars. “We believe that more personal communication is good, and we are interested to see how Twitter deals with the difficulty of creating DMs that can be used on the web and mobile.”

In addition to hidden DMs, Musk wants to introduce hidden audio and video features.

“We want users to be able to communicate without worrying about their privacy, [or] without worrying about the Twitter data breach that caused all their DMs to hit the web, or thinking that someone at Twitter might be snooping on their DMs,” Musk told the Twitter staff.

For anyone keeping track, this means that in addition to potentially paying features — like sending a celebrity a DM or viewing exclusive videos from content creators — basic customizations — like search optimization Twitter — and bold ideas — like turning Twitter into the next PayPal — Musk also hopes to make Twitter a messenger for users. He will do this, he told his team, by opting out of the messaging service and making it so that Twitter users cannot share real phone numbers to communicate.

“You don’t have to give out your phone number,” Musk told employees.

Instead, in Musk’s world, Twitter will become an entire online identity for each user — something that’s clearly worth paying $8 a month for, if as soon as they know this flat matter.



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