Speed Reads

take back the blue

Twitter reportedly pauses sign-ups for verification checkmark after 'impersonation issues'

Twitter is reportedly pressing pause on allowing users to buy verified blue checkmarks after the new feature prompted impersonators to flood the platform. 

The social media platform suspended the launch of the new Twitter Blue subscription service, which offers a verified blue checkmark for $8 a month, "to help address impersonation issues," an internal note said, according to Platformer's Zoë Schiffer. The news was confirmed by The Washington Post, which reported that Twitter told employees on Thursday night it is temporarily disabling Twitter Blue sign-ups. Existing subscribers were reportedly still able to access Blue's features. 

The suspension comes as Twitter is inundated with users capitalizing on $8 verification to impersonate a number of high-profile accounts, including NBA star LeBron James, Nintendo, and more. On Thursday, a fake account for pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly claimed that "insulin is free now," leading the real Eli Lilly to "apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account" — and the company's stock took a hit

On Wednesday, Twitter started rolling out a solution to this issue: A second "official" checkmark for high-profile accounts. Hours after it launched, though, owner Elon Musk said he "just killed it," and the flag began disappearing from accounts. But the "official" label was launched for a second time on Friday for "some accounts," and an internal announcement reportedly said it was "for ONLY advertisers." 

This is despite the fact that Musk in a Q&A on Wednesday dismissed the "official" label as an "aesthetic nightmare" and "another way of creating a two class system."