‘Crackpot idea’: Best reactions as Twitter plans to charge for verified blue tick

Twitter users are resisting reported plans to introduce a monthly fee for users to keep their verified blue tick status.

It comes after Elon Musk took over Twitter on Thursday 27 October, having concluded his US$44bn (£38bn) acquisition of the social media platform.

According to reports, Twitter’s executives have been discussing changes to the platform, including a plan to charge up to US$20 per month for its subscription service Twitter Blue that also verifies users.

Casey Newton, former editor for The Verge, reported in his newsletter Platformer that users may have to pay to subscribe to Twitter Blue or lose their verified blue tick badges.

While the new plan has not been confirmed by Twitter, Musk tweeted on Sunday (30 October) that the “whole verification process is being revamped right now”.

However, some celebrities who hold the badges have rejected the idea of paying for to keep their verified status.

Comedian and actor Kathy Burke criticised Musk and suggested he should be paying her instead for her content on the platform.

“Musk can f*** off with his idea of charging blue-tickers,” she said. “I give my all to this hell site for FREE. Cheeky b**** should be paying ME. Don’t need the poxy thing anyway. He may take our vibes but he’ll never take our memedom!”

Graphic designer Rob Sheridan, who is best known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, also weighed in on the news and said: “So most of the good useful people on here who are verified will reject this, and all the very worst people will pay for it, making it even harder to identify reliable information and returning us to the days of rampant impersonator accounts. This is going great.”

Franchesca Ramsey, comedian and TV writer, said she has verified status “solely because I’ve dealt with folks impersonating me for the purpose of trolling or harassment”.

“I don’t see it as anything special or desirable. Unless paid verification comes with some new special features I can’t imagine why anyone would pay for it?” she added.

Gary Whitta, who co-developed the story for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, described Musk as a “Dollar Store Ozymandias” and called the notion of making verified users pay for their status “a crackpot idea”.

He added that the concept “is born of him having the worst possible interpretation of what verification is - an ego-boosting status symbol to be flaunted by the user rather than a small piece of ID security for the benefit of all”.

Social media influencer Jack Mull added: “Being verified was fun while it lasted. Not a chance I’m paying US$20 a month for Twitter Blue just to keep the blue tick.”

However, other famous faces who have been unable to get verified status appeared enthusiastic about Musk’s Twitter takeover, including OJ Simpson.

Former footballer Simpson, who was charged and acquitted for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in the 1990s, congratulated Musk on his new acquisition.

He tweeted: “Maybe now I can get verified.”

Meanwhile, former US president Donald Trump, who is currenly banned from Twitter, praised the platform’s new ownership.

He wrote on his own platform, Truth Social: “I am very happy that Twitter is now in sane hands and will no longer be run by Radical Left Lunatics and Maniacs that truly hate our country.”

Twitter first launched its “Verified Accounts” programme in 2009 following a lawsuit by American baseball coach Tony La Russa over impersonator accounts.

In order to achieve the verified status, users must prove their identity and have an account that is “authentic, notable and active”.

The Independent has contacted Twitter for comment.