Twitter CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the platform will give businesses a new type of verification to differentiate between types of organisations and individuals.
Verified businesses will receive a gold checkmark next to their profile name as opposed to the traditional blue checkmark that has been standard for all verified accounts since Twitter’s inception.
Blue checkmarks will remain for previously-verified individuals before Musk’s takeover, and also for Twitter Blue users - those who pay the Musk-introduced $8 subscription for paid verification.
He said government accounts will be designated a grey checkmark, similar to the grey ‘Official’ tag that the platform is currently trialling to differentiate accounts like genuine news organisations from paid-for Twitter Blue impersonations, for example.
He said the new approach will roll out next week on Friday 2 December and that “all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates. Painful, but necessary”.
Responding to one Twitter user, Musk said that individuals with blue checkmarks can also choose to display a second, smaller logo that indicates they are part of an organisation, providing that organisation verifies their affiliation with it.
This means businesses and other organisations with a verified Twitter presence will also be able to offer their staff the chance to officially show they are part of the organisation.
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The development could be especially useful for larger companies that need to ensure their staff aren’t impersonated - an issue that’s been rife on Twitter since Musk introduced paid verification.
A more detailed explanation of the changes is expected to be publicised when the new-look verification rolls out next week, Musk said.
Musk sought to overhaul the platform’s verification system as one of his first of many changes as CEO. The Tesla chief said that introducing paid verification would help limit the success and reach of ‘bot’ accounts, an issue which has led many users to be inundated with scam messages and exposed to misinformation.
Twitter Blue has been heavily criticised since its launch. One issue was that people thought account impersonations would become rife.
The prediction quickly turned to reality as many users impersonated Musk himself, as well as other organisations, posting unsavoury and PR-unfriendly tweets in an attempt to both defame the CEO and draw attention to the issues that 'verification-for-all' could present.
Other figures that were impersonated included senior politicians and former heads of state. The timing of the launch was further criticised for being so close to the midterm elections in the US.
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Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.