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Elon Musk Discusses Twitter Verification Allegation With Stephen King

Elon Musk Discusses Twitter Verification Allegation With Stephen King

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Twitter’s new owner and CEO Elon Musk appears to have confirmed reports that the platform is considering charging people $20 to maintain the coveted blue verification checkmark on their account in an exchange with horror author Stephen King.

King denied those reports, tweeting to his nearly 7 million followers on Monday: “They should pay me. If it gets going, I’m gone like Enron,” he said, referring to the scandal-ridden energy company that filed for bankruptcy.

In response, Musk suggested that a verification fee would help the site make a profit and appeared to barter with King, tweeting: “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. That’s the only way to defeat bots and trolls,” added Musk. The king did not answer.

Twitter wants to charge for verification. Here’s what you need to know.

The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX owner has completed his buying Twitter for $44 billion last week after several months of negotiations and legal wrangling.

Ahead of his Twitter purchase, Musk raised the issue of fake Twitter accounts run by “bots” main discussion point because he requested more internal data from the company to estimate the number of fake users on the site.

He has since then he said that “the entire verification process has been reengineered” without sharing further details, although it has not yet confirmed whether any payment will be required for the verification.

A blue verification badge indicates that the account is “authentic, significant and active”, according to on Twitter, and is mostly held by public figures in government, news, and entertainment, among other limited fields.

Musk’s inner circle worked over the weekend to cement layoff plans at Twitter

Tech investor and longtime Musk associate Jason Calacanis, who has appeared on Twitter’s company directory since Musk’s acquisition, also solicited interest Monday in various blue check payment amounts, administering a survey of prices ranging from $5 to $15 a month. While the survey is still open, a whopping 82 percent of respondents have so far indicated they would not pay. Musk responded to Calacanis’ survey, saying, “Interesting.”

Echoing Musk’s reasoning, Calacanis tweeted that “getting more people verified on Twitter, along with removing the bot armies, is the fastest way to make the platform safer and more usable for everyone.”

Taking over Twitter — akin to an online public square for debate and dialogue across the political spectrum — may be pushing Musk to show signs of acknowledging the demands and responsibilities of owning a social platform. Late Monday, Musk changed his Twitter bio from “Chief Twit” to “Twitter Hotline Complaint Operator.”

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Musk formally took over as CEO of Twitter after several longtime Twitter executives, including the former CEO Parag Agrawalthey were laid off after his purchase of the San Francisco-based company.

Over the weekend, The Washington Post registered that members of Musk’s inner circle, along with remaining senior Twitter executives, held detailed discussions about the site’s approach to content moderation and spam, as well as plans for the first round dismissals for about 25 percent of the workforce.

Financial filing also on Monday showed that Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey transferred his Twitter shares to the company, making him one of Musk’s investors.

Racist tweets quickly surfaced after Musk closed the Twitter deal

Since taking over the platform, Musk has also said he plans to form a “content moderation council” of experts with “very different viewpoints.” He added that no significant decisions on the content or return of the bill would happen before that council convenes.

It comes amid speculation over whether Musk will welcome former President Donald Trump, a prolific tweeter, back to the site. Trump was prohibited after January 6 the attack on the Capitol, and on Twitter it said “the risk of further inciting violence”. The reprimand also meant Trump’s tweets largely disappeared from the site, removing a catalog of his thoughts.

“If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me if Trump was coming back to this platform, Twitter would be minting money!” Musk tweeted this week.

Meanwhile, Trump said Fox News said last week that it prefers its own platform, Truth Social, for its public messaging for now.

“I don’t think Twitter can be successful without me,” Trump said. “I stand by the Truth. I like him better, I like the way he works, I like Elon, but I stand by the Truth,” he added.

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Faiz Siddiqui contributed to this report.





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