Twitter has paused the ability to buy a verification tick with subscription payments after a wave of fake accounts from brands and celebrities. The subscription should probably be available again at the end of next week, wrote the new Twitter owner Elon Musk in a tweet on Sunday night. He made no further statements about how the system should be better protected against fake accounts that look deceptively real.
Twitter had only implemented the reorganization of the tick marks announced by Musk on Wednesday. So far, they have been granted to celebrities, politicians and companies after an audit by Twitter. According to the new model, anyone who pays eight dollars a month gets the tick. There is no identity check. The tick looks the same in both cases. Whether you are dealing with an earlier, actually verified account or with a new, purchased tick only becomes clear from the text after clicking on the symbol.
Some users created credible fake accounts with the ticks they bought - for example for basketball star LeBron James, the games company Nintendo and ex-President Donald Trump. The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly apologized to Twitter users who were led to believe by a fake account that insulin would be distributed free of charge in the future. An allegedly verified Chiquita fake account announced that it had overthrown the Brazilian government.
Musk bought Twitter two weeks ago for around $44 billion. Since then, the company has been struggling, among other things, with the reluctance of large advertising customers. Advertising revenue recently made up around 90 percent of Twitter revenue.
Tweet from Musk