Wednesday September 27, 2023

No blue tick, no opinion: Only verified users to vote in polls on X, says Musk

The announcement comes in as a response to concerns about bots influencing poll results

By Web Desk
September 03, 2023
X (formerly known as Twitter) owner Elon Musk. — AFP/File
X (formerly known as Twitter) owner Elon Musk. — AFP/File

Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), announced Sunday that only verified users would soon be able to participate in polls on the platform, as a response to concerns about bots influencing poll results.

Musk passed the statement in reply to a tweet by writer and entrepreneur Brian Krassenstein, who had observed "extremely high" bot activity surrounding polls.

He suggested Musk: "You really should consider allowing only users with blue checkmarks to engage in polls. I've noticed significant bot involvement in polls. Regarding the ADL, I understand that they sometimes over-label things. Nevertheless, the ADL has achieved a great deal over the past 110 years."

Elon Musk responded to Krassenstein's tweet and stated, "Agreed on all.

We’re changing polls to allow votes only by verified users. That’s critical to avoid polls getting bot-spammed on controversial issues.

The ADL has done a lot of good work in prior decades, but has been overzealous in recent years & hijacked by woke mind virus."

This is not the first time Musk has taken measures to tackle this issue. Several months ago, he announced that starting on April 15th, only verified accounts would have the privilege of participating in polls. 

Additionally, he noted that being included in "For You" recommendations, which present a stream of tweets from X accounts, would also be restricted to verified users. Elon Musk had previously stated that the platform would limit voting in polls related to policy matters.

Elon Musk defended this approach as the "only practical" solution to counter the rising influence of AI bots on the platform, labelling the situation a "hopeless losing battle" otherwise. His ultimate vision is to transform X into the most reliable and trustworthy platform, stating, "I predict that this will be the sole platform you can rely on."

Musk's decision to implement these changes reflects his commitment to creating an online environment free from manipulation, where genuine user opinions can be expressed without distortion from automated accounts. This move underscores the ongoing efforts to maintain the integrity and authenticity of interactions on social media platforms.