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Twitter is introducing new ‘official’ label for some already verified accounts

Twitter is introducing new ‘official’ label for some already verified accounts

Twitter plans to add a grey “official” label to some verified accounts when it launches its revamped $8 subscription service, the company said on Wednesday.

The new “official” label is not available for purchase and not all previously verified accounts will get it, Esther Crawford, director of product management at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, said.

“Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures,” Ms Crawford tweeted.

“A lot of folks have asked about how you’ll be able to distinguish between Twitter Blue subscribers with blue checkmarks and accounts that are verified as official, which is why we’re introducing the “Official” label to select accounts when we launch,” she said, sharing a screenshot of the label on Twitter’s profile page.

The new feature is the latest in a string of changes that Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk has made to the account verification system on the microblogging platform since taking over the company, purchasing it for $44bn in October.

Earlier this month, the multibillionaire said Twitter would charge users to keep their blue tick verification on the social media platform.

Reports suggested Elon Musk was planning to raise the price of Twitter’s subscription service from $5 (£4.30) to $20 a month (£17) as means to generate revenue for his newly acquired company.

Following criticism by author Stephen King, and outcry from other users of the platform, Mr Musk confirmed that the revamped Twitter Blue would cost users $8 per month.

“We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8? I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls,” the Tesla chief wrote.

On Monday, Mr Musk also made another change to the guidelines to be followed by verified users, adding that accounts which change their name to impersonate others would be permanently banned from the site without warning.

“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” he tweeted.

The policy change came as several celebrities in the US changed their Twitter profile name to “Elon Musk” and posted messages parodying the Tesla chief before their accounts were suspended.

This raised concerns that the blue check mark verification badges would no longer be useful to prevent impersonation on the platform.

“The blue checkmark simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!” actor Valerie Bertinelli pointed out.

With the new harsher rules against parodying accounts, critics were soon to point out Mr Musk’s sharp change in stance from declaring himself as a “free speech absolutist” and tweeting that “comedy is now legal on Twitter.”

He had also said previously that there would be no content moderation rule changes implemented at the company until a new content moderation council was formed.

The revamped version of Twitter Blue is reportedly scheduled to be rolled out widely after the US midterm elections.

“The new Twitter Blue does not include ID verification – it’s an opt-in, paid subscription that offers a blue checkmark and access to select features. We’ll continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types,” Ms Crawford said.