Media figures, celebrities and others lost their legacy Twitter verification badges on Thursday.
The social media platform previously provided the badges for free to people like journalists and celebrities, but now with Elon Musk at the helm, the company is providing verification badges to people who pay to subscribe to Twitter Blue. Organizations can also pay for verification. Government figures and entities now receive gray badges of verification.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York sounded the alarm, claiming the new verification mark system sets the stage for “significant potential harm” due to confusion over which accounts are real and which ones are false
“Jokes aside, this is setting the stage for significant potential damage when a natural disaster strikes and no one knows which agencies, reporters or media are real. Not too long ago we had major flash floods. We had to quickly mobilize information of trust to save us. made it harder today,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
The congresswoman was retweeting someone who shared a screenshot of a fake New York account claiming to be the city’s official account.
“This is a real Twitter account representing the New York City government. This is the only @NYCGov account managed by the New York City government,” the real account tweeted Thursday.
“No, you’re not. THIS account is the only authentic Twitter account that represents and operates the New York City government,” a fake account replied.
The fake account has been suspended and a gray verification badge currently appears on the city’s official account.
u201cJokes aside, this is setting the stage for major potential damage when a natural disaster hits and no one knows which agencies, reporters or media are real.nnNot long ago we had major flash floods. We had to quickly mobilize reliable information to save lives. Today made it more difficult…
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) 1682027688
Notorious left-wing celebrity Bette Midler referred to Musk as a “worm,” tweeting, “Elon took my blue check! I’m not verified! After all these years and thousands of tweets and free content, this worm has the value of – certify me!”
“So by revoking my blue check mark because I wouldn’t pay any arbitrary fee, someone can be me and say a bunch of bull****. It means that Twitter and @elonmusk are liable for defamation or identity theft or fraud??” Alyssa Milano asked.
Even Elmo, a character from the children’s show Sesame Street, lamented the loss of the verification badge.
“Elmo will miss you, little blue check mark. But don’t worry, Elmo is still Elmo!” tweeted the character’s account.
u201cElmo will miss you, little blue check mark. But don’t worry everyone, Elmo is still Elmo! u2764ufe0fu201d
— Elmo (@Elmo) 1682030939
Elon Musk indicated that he is personally paying for Twitter Blue subscriptions for NBA player LeBron James, actor William Shatner and author Stephen King.
u201c@PopBase Just Shatner, LeBron and Kingu201d
— Pop Base (@PopBase) 1682034691
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