Source: Business Insider
Elon Musk has doubled down on Twitter's proposed new $8-per-month fee for users who want to keep their blue verified checkmark.
The billionaire, who closed the $44 billion deal for the social media platform last week, announced on Tuesday that Twitter's new verification system would cost $8 per month. This sparked controversy among some verified Twitter users who were unhappy at the news that they'd have to start paying for the blue tick.
Despite the criticism, Musk reiterated his plans later in the day.
"To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8," he tweeted.
Included in the price would not only be the blue checkmark, but also priority in search, fewer ads, and the ability to post long-form video, Musk has said in various tweets. Musk is planning to overhaul Twitter Blue, the site's premium subscription service, with these features.
The $8 subscription fee is lower than previously expected. The Verge reported on Sunday that Musk was aiming to charge $20 monthly for Blue, which is currently $4.99 per month.
Author Stephen King spoke out about the news on Twitter, saying he'd quit the site if he was forced to pay $20 to keep his blue checkmark. In response to King's tweet, Musk said: "We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?"
Paying to remain verified on the platform could present the opportunity for fake accounts and bots to impersonate government officials, journalists, celebrities, and other public figures, leading to the possibility of more widespread misinformation.
In response to a Twitter user who said another user could pay $8 in an attempt to impersonate Musk with the same name, profile picture, and tweets, the billionaire said: "That already happens very frequently."
The charge for being verified on Twitter is one of a number of controversies facing Musk in the days after he took over the platform. Others include the firing of several top executives, reports that he plans to lay off 25% of the workforce, and a rise in hateful content on the site.