Twitter briefly rolled out gray ‘official’ check marks. Then Elon Musk changed his mind

CNN Business

A new verification mark aimed at better identifying major Twitter accounts under new owner Elon Musk has become the latest source of chaos at the company.

Just hours after the feature debuted, Musk abruptly said on Wednesday that he had “killed” a new, gray verification badge designed to label government accounts, major brands and media outlets as the world’s most Adds to the turmoil at one of the influential social media companies.

The new badge, which included a gray check mark and the word “official” placed below the respective account handles of media outlets including Twitter, the United Nations and CNN, was first introduced on Tuesday evening.

Esther Crawford, director of product management at the company, tweeted that the feature was created to separate “select” identity-verified accounts with a blue check mark, which Twitter has said will soon offer users $8 per month. will offer to pay.

The new badge started early Wednesday. But by late morning, users started to notice that the badge had disappeared.

“I just killed it,” Musk tweeted in response to a tweet about the disappearance. Musk added: “Please note that Twitter will do a lot of silly things in the coming months. We’ll keep what works and change what doesn’t.”

A few minutes later, however, Crawford was forced to clarify what Musk meant.

“Official label still going out as part of @TwitterBlue launch – we’re only focusing on government and commercial entities,” Crawford tweeted. “What you saw him mention was that we are not focused on giving ‘official’ labels to individuals right now.”

Despite this, all accounts, including those of NASA, CNN and the UN, were removed from their “official” labels as of Wednesday afternoon, causing confusion.

The real-time experiment sheds light on Musk’s improvisational management style, which he applied liberally to the company in its early weeks of ownership.

In recent days, Twitter and Musk have faced widespread criticism over the company’s plan to shift the blue check mark’s meaning away from identifying confirmed individuals, especially public figures, to a new meaning. Check that the user has paid for Twitter Blue, the company’s subscription service.

Election security experts warned about the possibility that bad actors could pay for blue check marks, then change their display names to impersonate government officials or other official sources of information.

After preparing the feature for rollout over the weekend, Twitter later decided to delay the deployment until after the midterm, CNN previously reported. Also over the weekend, Musk vowed that accounts caught engaging in undeclared impersonation would be banned permanently without warning, reversing earlier promises that so-called “Parambans” would be extremely rare.

Twitter said Tuesday evening that to resolve the ambiguity about which accounts on its platform are identity-verified — as opposed to those who pay just $8 a month for a blue check mark on their profiles — the company is using the gray check mark. will be offered as part of one. “Official” label.

a first screenshot Posted by Crawford Shows what the new label will look like. The screenshot showed Twitter’s own account profile, which included the standard blue check mark beside its display name as well as a gray check mark and the word “official” below its account handle.

“Not all previously verified accounts will receive the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” Crawford tweeted on Tuesday. “Accounts receiving it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and certain public figures.”

Crawford also confirmed that the upcoming option to pay for the blue check mark will not include the identity verification requirement.

“We will continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types,” Crawford Told,


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