Twitter Briefly Added Gray Check Marks for Official Accounts. Then Musk 'Killed It'
"Blue check will be the great leveler," he tweets Wednesday.
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Separately, Musk tweeted a warning Wednesday that "Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months," hinting at more rapid shifts. "We will keep what works & change what doesn't." Musk added in a live audio chat on Twitter that the gray check mark that came with an "official" label was an "aesthetic nightmare" and another way of "creating a two-class system."
Crawford spoke up again on Wednesday in the wake of Musk ending the feature.
"There are no sacred cows in product at Twitter anymore. Elon is willing to try lots of things -- many will fail, some will succeed," she said. "The goal is to find the right mix of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.
Replying to a query about the vanishing gray check mark, Crawford said the label isn't dead.
"We are just focusing on government and commercial entities to begin with. What you saw him mention was the fact that we're not focusing on giving individuals the 'Official' label right now," she said.
Musk last week announced that he wants to charge $8 a month for a subscription plan that includes a blue verified check mark on accounts. It would also feature priority in replies, mentions and search results; the ability to post long video and audio clips; and seeing half as many ads.
Twitter Blue, which was previously priced at $5 a month, didn't include the blue check mark, which was only given to verified accounts.
"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," Crawford added. "We'll continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types."
Twitter was already grappling with fake accounts after rolling out a new verification system. One account with a check mark that has been suspended pretended to be Twitter and falsely claimed in a tweet that cryptocurrency and those with assets known as nonfungible tokens could get a Twitter Blue subscription for free.
In a live audio chat on Twitter, Musk said that charging for verification could make creating fake accounts more costly for scammers. If someone tries to impersonate a brand, he said, Twitter will suspend the account but keep their money as they try to create new ones.
"Of course, they will try, but it starts to get expensive and they start to need a lot of credit cards and a lot of phones and eventually they will stop trying," Musk said.