Elon Musk Relaunched Twitter Blue Subscription Service 

13 Dec 2022
5 min read

News Synopsis

On Monday,  Elon Musk relaunched a Twitter subscription service after an embarrassing wave of fake accounts scared advertisers and put doubt on twitter's future.

Last month's attempt came only ten days after Musk's $44 billion acquisition of the platform and a massive round of layoffs that saw company employee numbers reduced, including teams of people moderating content.

The relaunch of Twitter Blue in a few countries, including the US, comes as Elon Musk has increased his tweets promoting right-wing causes, such as opposition to the usage of gender-neutral pronouns and the US government's response to Covid-19.

The subscription service costs $8 a month for customers who visit Twitter via the web and $11 for those who sign up Twitter through an Apple device.

When several false accounts appeared pretending to be celebrities or companies during the initial launch of Twitter Blue, Musk's team was forced to pull the plug on the scheme.

This time, the company beefed its verification process with a Twitter-mandated review before receiving the coveted blue mark.

A blue checkmark on an account, indicating that it has been verified by Twitter, was formerly free but reserved for companies and public figures in order to avoid impersonation and misinformation.

The relaunch came with reports that Musk had disbanded Twitter's Trust and Safety Council, a six-year-old council that allows the company to consult with global experts on hate speech, child safety, civil rights, and other delicate issues.

According to copies of an email sent to council members, Twitter is rethinking how it incorporates "external insights" into its work and has determined that the council is "not the best structure to do this."

Since his takeover, content moderation has been a huge concern for Musk, who has defined himself as a free-speech absolutist and vowed to let anyone post whatever they want as long as they follow the law.

However, the billionaire's commitment to free speech has scared off major advertisers and drawn the attention of regulators.

Musk feels that prior Twitter leadership had a strong leftist and pro-LGBTQ bias and wrongfully blocked accounts, including former US President Donald Trump's.

On Sunday, he lashed out at Anthony Fauci, the outgoing main advisor for the US response to the Covid-19 pandemic and a regular target of right-wing media vitriol.


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