After Elon Musk said he “killed” the new “official” hashtags of certain Twitter accounts, one of his own staff members countered him.
Just hours after the proposal was made public, he suggested it simply wouldn’t work.
The idea is to use the “official” label to flag the accounts of government officials, media and other public figures once the platform’s blue checkmark changes are in effect.
Mr. Musk said the change – Launched after mid-term – Will give “people power”, allowing anyone to have a label, not just those public facing characters.
But when online video producer Marques Brownlee tweeted that “it’s gone now,” Musk replied: “I just killed it.”
Minutes later, the world’s richest man added: “Be warned, Twitter is going to do a lot of stupid things in the next few months. We’re going to keep what works and change what doesn’t.”
However, Esther Crawford, who developed early products for Twitter, later tweeted: “Official hashtags will still be part of the Twitter Blue launch – we’re starting with just government and commercial entities.
“You saw him mention that we’re not focused on labeling individuals ‘official’ right now.”
The new owner of the social media site wastes little time implementing his ideas, mostly revising Twitter Blue subscription service and mobile recognizable tick behind its monthly paywall.
Earlier, Ms Crawford said: “A lot of people have asked how you would differentiate a @TwitterBlue subscriber with a blue checkmark from a verified official account, and that’s where we introduced the ‘official’ label Reason. Account is selected at startup.
“Not all previously verified accounts will receive the ‘official’ label and the label is not purchasable. Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.
“The new Twitter Blue doesn’t include ID verification — it’s an opt-in paid subscription that provides blue checkmarks and access to opt-in features. We’ll continue to try ways to differentiate between account types.”
For more on science and technology, explore the future with Sky News at Big Ideas Live 2022.
Learn more and book tickets here
What it means for a verified account
Musk has denounced the existing verification program as a “lord and peasant system.”
Some observers have suggested that allowing anyone to pass verification could help fight bots and fake accounts.
But news that paid blue checkmarks will no longer reflect any form of authentication threw the idea out of whack.
That means more accounts could end up with two labels, a blue tick if they pay, and an official label if they meet Twitter’s new standards.
Their appearance is very similar to the existing labels for government and state-affiliated accounts now.
For example, Rishi Sunak’s account has a blue tick and the label “UK Government Official”.