(RoyalPatriot.com )- Elon Musk has made a lot of headlines since purchasing social media company Twitter and taking it private.
Recently, he made even more headlines when he posted online last Friday that he would “sunset” the platform’s legacy Blue Verified check system “in a few months.”
Musk, the owner of the company as well as the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, tweeted:
“Twitter’s legacy Blue Verified is unfortunately deeply corrupted, so will sunset in a few months.”
Before Musk took over the company, Twitter used blue checkmarks next to users’ names as a way to verify that they were the actual owners of the account. This service was provided free of charge, and was reserved for government officials, leading corporate big-wigs, journalists and celebrities so they could prove that they were real.
It was a way that Twitter was trying to prevent other users from impersonating these well-known people.
When Musk took over, though, he immediately sought to change that system, and monetize it.
He announced a Twitter Blue subscription service that would allow any user to get a blue checkmark next to their account name if they paid a subscription price of $8 per month. The program received almost immediate backlash after it was announced last October, and was put on pause while the company looked at it further.
Yet, despite the backlash, the Twitter Blue subscription program went live in November of last year.
The problem, according to many, is that it’s very easy for any user to impersonate the account of famous or well-known people.
Geoffrey Fowler, a technology columnist for The Washington Post, reported in January that he was able to successful get a blue checkmark for a fake account that he set up where he claimed to be Massachusetts Democratic Senator Ed Markey.
On January 5, Fowler revealed this issue when he tweeted:
“The problem is, @SenatorEdMarkey is actually me, not the real Sen. Edward J. Markey. It’s a test of Twitter’s $7.99 per month Blue ‘verification’ service I made with the permission of the real Democrat from Massachusetts. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being confused: My test account has the senator’s name and photo and a blue checkmark that says it is ‘verified.’”
This wasn’t the only example of a user impersonating someone else on Twitter and then getting the blue verification checkmark. In fact, a report published by media outlet The Hill in November said that various companies were impersonated through the program, including Lockheed Martin, Eli Lilly and Company, and even Musk’s other two companies – SpaceX and Tesla.
Public relations CEO Richard Levick commented to The Hill when the report came out:
“It has become chaos. Who buys into chaos?”
Under the initial part of the Twitter Blue plan, there were two categories of verification – either those who had legacy verification under the previous regime, and those who paid for the service under Musk’s regime.
Now, apparently, Musk is doing away with those legacy account verifications.