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Musk to relaunch Twitter plan after fake account fiasco

By AFP
December 13, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter owner Elon Musk was set to relaunch a subscription service on Monday after a first attempt saw an embarrassing spate of fake accounts that scared advertisers and created doubt on the site´s future.

The first try last month came just 10 days after Musk´s $44 billion takeover of the influential platform and a mass round of layoffs that saw company staff levels halved, including teams of workers moderating content.

The relaunch of Twitter Blue comes as the Tesla and SpaceX owner has stepped up his tweets endorsing right-wing causes, including against the use of gender neutral pronouns and the US government´s response to Covid-19.

The first rollout of the subscription plan caused an uproar when many fake accounts popped up pretending to be celebrities or companies and Musk´s team was forced to swiftly suspend the rollout. This time, the company said that starting Monday subscribers would be required to be reviewed by Twitter before receiving the coveted blue check mark.

The checkmark will become gold for businesses and, later in the week, gray for government organizations, it added. A blue checkmark on an account, which indicates it has been verified by Twitter, was previously free but reserved for organizations and public figures in an attempt to avoid impersonation and misinformation.