Billionaire Elon Musk on Monday said his mission is to make Twitter the “most accurate source of information about the world” and defend his decision of widespread user verification, stating that it will “democratize journalism”.
Musk, who has announced a slew of new measures after purchasing the micro-blogging site for $44 billion, said the blue verification mark under the Twitter Blue subscription will empower the “voice of the people”.
Twitter’s $8 monthly subscription plan offers exclusive access to premium features that let users customize their Twitter experience. The plan has already been launched in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia.
“Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission,” Musk declared in a tweet, drawing the appreciation as well as the wrath of many users.
Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
A user, Kyle Grantham, wrote: “And to do this, I’ll let anyone to gives me money appear to be a legitimate source of news, rather than just ensuring all legitimate sources of news are confirmed to be who they say they are.”
To this, Musk hit back, saying that the perception that journalists are the only source of legitimate information is wrong. “You represent the problem: journalists who think they are the only source of legitimate information. That’s the big lie,” the Tesla chief wrote.
Responding to complaints of account suspension of several people, Musk, who reportedly plans to become Twitter CEO, said the platform would not allow verified users or the subscribers of Twitter Blue to indulge in “malicious deception” and that such accounts will be suspended permanently without any warning.
“No problem to use a pseudonym. The high-level principle is just that verified users can’t engage in malicious deception. Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended,” Musk, who also owns SpaceX, said.
“Previously, we issued a warning before the suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” the billionaire added.
He also said that a user will temporarily lose the verification checkmark if they change their account name.
On Monday morning, Twitter suspended the accounts of several verified users including Australian Hindi teacher Ian Woolford for changing their account name to Elon Musk.
Defending his steps taken after the takeover, Musk said the number of users on Twitter has “increased significantly” across the world after the deal was announced. “And these are very early days. As Twitter becomes by far the most reliable source of truth, it will be indispensable,” he said.
The new Twitter owner also promised creators to give more than 55 per cent of the revenue generated on their content posted on the social media site.