Twitter’s billionaire owner, Elon Musk, has unveiled plans to launch differently colored badges on the social media platform to distinguish between accounts.
Musk tweeted on Friday “Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week”.
According to him, “Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates.”
In another tweet, Musk explained that all verified individual accounts would have the same blue check, although some would eventually be able to display a “secondary tiny logo showing they belong to an organisation if verified as such by that organisation”.
The Tesla and SpaceX boss’ proposal for users to be able to pay to be “verified” and obtain a blue badge on their profiles has created confusion since he acquired the social media giant last month.
Musk had proposed a subscription fee of $8 a month to allow users to obtain the blue check which was previously free but reserved for organisations and public figures in an attempt to avoid impersonation and misinformation.
The first rollout of Musk’s subscription plan in early November was swift, with many accounts paying for the blue check and then impersonating world leaders, celebrities or companies.
Reacting to the backlash, Musk initially postponed the launch date to November 29, before delaying it once more but he has now confirmed that the feature will be launched on December 2.
Musk had said he wants to charge users for subscriptions to the social media platform to diversify its income stream as Twitter currently depends on advertising for 90 per cent of its revenue.
Several major brands have withdrawn from advertising on the platform since Musk bought it, amid fears that his promised relaxation of content moderation could open their companies up to being associated with objectionable content.
Also, half of Twitter’s top 100 advertisers have announced that they are suspending or “have apparently suspended” their spending on the social network.