In a thread about Elon Musk’s implementation of an $8 fee for blue checkmarks — a bid by the platform to move away from its currently exclusive dispensation of “verified” status symbols — a prominent crypto account alleged that some Twitter employees extorted users for thousands of dollars for the privilege.
Beyond providing users with a digital status symbol, having a checkmarked Twitter account allows “verified” users to interact almost exclusively with other holders of the privilege through a “verified” response tab and receive and send notifications to other checkmarked users with more ease than regular, un-verified users.
In an original thread by Twitter user “Shibetoshi Nakamoto” arguing that charging $8 for verification isn’t a good idea, Musk responded to say that too many “verified” accounts were given out in the past, “often arbitrarily.”
Musk, who now owns Twitter, says that the system was so broken that any user who wants to own a checkmark could simply do so by buying one off a third party website.
“Far too many legacy ‘verified’ checkmarks were handed out, often arbitrarily, so in reality they are *not* verified. You can buy as many as you want right now with a Google search,” he said.
“Piggybacking off payment system plus Apple/Android is a much better way to ensure verification,” he added.
In response to Musk’s tweet, @WSBChairman alleged that Twitter employees had been selling verification badges.
“Twitter employees were selling verification for upwards of $15,000. For certain accounts, mine included, they would refuse to verify you through the standard application and then privately offer to verify you for $$ behind the scenes,” he wrote. “Investigation needed.”
“Yup,” replied Musk, confirming his intent to investigate the issue.
It’s unknown what penalties the employees or former employees of Twitter could face should an investigation uncover evidence of a pay-to-play scheme at the website.