Musk plans to relaunch Twitter premium service, again
LONDON — Elon Musk said Friday that Twitter plans to relaunch its premium service that will offer different colored check marks to accounts next week, in a fresh move to revamp the service after a previous attempt backfired. It’s the latest update to the social media platform that Musk, a billionaire Tesla CEO, bought last month for $44billion. This comes a day after Musk stated he would give “amnesty” for accounts that were suspended and creating more uncertainty for users.
Twitter had previously suspended the premium service. It was granted blue-check labels to anyone who paid $8 per month under Musk’s supervision. This was due to a spate of fake accounts. The blue check was originally given to celebrities, government entities, and corporations to prevent impersonation. In the latest version, companies will receive a gold check, governments a gray check and individuals who pay for this service, regardless of whether they are celebrities, will receive a blue check. Musk announced Friday.
” All verified accounts will need to be authenticated manually before the check activates,” Musk said. He stated that the service was “tentatively launched” Dec. 2.
Twitter had placed the revamped premium service in suspension days after it launched earlier this month. Accounts impersonated companies such as Lockheed Martin, Nintendo, Lockheed Martin and even Musk’s own businesses Tesla, SpaceX and other professional sports and politicians.
This was only one change made in the past two days. Musk announced that he would grant amnesty to accounts that were suspended. This was in response to an online poll which asked whether accounts that had not “broken law” or engaged in “egregious spamming” should be reinstated.
The yes vote was 72%. These online polls are not scientific and can be easily influenced by bots. Musk used one before restoring the account of former President Donald Trump.
” The people have spoken. Next week, Amnesty will begin. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Musk tweeted Thursday using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God.”
The move is likely to put the company on a crash course with European regulators seeking to clamp down on harmful online content with tough new rules, which helped cement Europe’s reputation as the global leader in efforts to rein in the power of social media companies and other digital platforms.
Zach Meyers is a senior research fellow at Centre for European Reform. He said that giving amnesty based upon an online poll was an “arbitrary approach” and that it’s difficult to reconcile with the Digital Services Act, a new EU law that will apply to the largest online platforms by mid -2023..
The law is intended to protect internet users from illegal content, and reduce the spread of legal but harmful content. Meyers stated that it requires large social media platforms to be “diligent” and objective in enforcing restrictions. This must be clearly stated in the fine print for users who sign up.
Britain is also working on its own online safety laws. Unless Musk changes quickly from a “move fast and break everything” approach to a more responsible management style, he will be in a collision with Brussels and London regulators,” Meyers stated.
European Union officials took to social media to highlight their worries. The 27-nation bloc’s executive Commission published a report Thursday that found Twitter took longer to review hateful content and removed less of it this year compared with 2021.
The report was based upon data collected in the spring, before Musk bought Twitter. It was part of an annual assessment of online platforms’ compliance to the bloc’s voluntary code on conduct on disinformation. It found that Twitter assessed just over half of the notifications it received about illegal hate speech within 24 hours, down from 82% in 2021.
These numbers could get worse. Since taking over, Musk has l aid off half the company’s 7,500-person workforce along with an untold number of contractors responsible for content moderation. Many others have resigned including the head of safety and trust at the company.
Recent layoffs in Twitter and the results of the EU review “are a cause of concern,” Didier Reynders, the bloc’s commissioner of justice, tweeted Thursday evening after meeting with executives from Twitter at its European headquarters in Dublin. Reynders stated that he “underlined the fact that we expect Twitter’s voluntary commitments to comply with EU rules” during the meeting. This included the Digital Services Act and strict privacy regulations known under the General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR).
Vera Jourova is the vice president of values and transparency at the European Commission. She tweeted Thursday evening that she was worried about reports that “vast amounts” of Twitter’s European staff had been fired.
” “This requires resources if you want to detect and take action against disinformation & propaganda effectively,” Jourova stated. “Especially in the context of Russian disinformation warfare.”
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