For whom the bell polls: Twitter voting is for Blue users only now
Is there a role for a poll for just Blue Tickers, not proles, or is this troll a social media own goal?
Opinion Even those who do spend $7* a month to get (or keep) that treasured blue tick next to their name on Twitter may be peeved to find out that soon only verified users will be allowed to vote in polls on the platform. Bring it on: electronic ballots where only 10 people click.
Most verified users – outside of, ahem, esteemed news orgs who are there to keep you informed and entertained while the world burns – won't waste time voting on other people's profiles; they're too busy building their own brand.
But as of April 15th, according to his Muskiness, who handed down the tablet from Mount Twitter today, only Blue tick Twitter subscribers will be eligible to cast a vote on a Twitter ballot.
Also, from that date, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in "For You recommendations" – that feed of things Twitter's algorithm believes you to be interested in, despite all your protestations in the comments on the Register's forum. Yes, that includes all of us who were surprised to see the Tesla boss bobbing up to the top of their feeds on Superbowl weekend despite the fact that they don't follow him. Tweaking the algorithm? Musk, please.
Why the verification overhaul? It's an effort by the CEO to protect his People from a plague of advanced AI bots. And we suppose a cynic might say it's an effort to bump that revenue up after a recently leaked memo appeared to show Elon thought the whole company was only worth half what he paid for it (under $20 billion vs the $44 billion he spent last year).
The move is part of a larger phaseout of the social media platform's old verification program which starts on April 1.
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Twitter has come in for a lot of flak over charging for verification, and ditching the "legacy" blue tick method, where a user had to be "authentic, notable, and active," or be a bigshot in government/ entertainment/ sport/ activism/ journalism or a news org. And it would be unfair to say a Blue subscription doesn't have value – it will certainly be worth the money to some. If you need people to know you are who you say you are – for work, for a good cause, or even just to socialise – you couldn't shame someone for paying for the privilege.
At any rate, from April Fools' Day, accounts that already have Twitter's signature blue check signifying they're a verified user will then have to pay at least $8* a month to keep it. On the top end, verified organizations will have to cough up $1,000 a month and $50 for each affiliate, plus taxes.
When challenged on this, Musk said it was a bot busting move and predicted that it will make Twitter "the only platform you can trust." Verified user TheTyJager took the words out of everyone's mouths at that point to quickly retort: "Yes, because giving everyone a badge that used to mean legitimacy to anyone who gives you money is really the 'most' trustworthy process."
We know it's only silly polls, but in all seriousness, is it a great idea to give the vote only to those who pay and have Twitter reflect an outside world where oligarchies are on the rise?
Let us know. We have a poll. You don't even have to be verified. ®
* Twitter's price list says $8. Musk says $7, which seems to be the current pricing.