Trouble at Twitter?
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Twitter’s new paid verification system is causing all sorts of confusion with pranksters impersonate celebrities, politicians and brands.
Thursday marked the launch of the company’s new $7.99 a month subscription service that allows users to pay for that little blue check. In the past several days, fake accounts have popped up impersonating President Joe Biden, Pope Francis, Nintendo – even Twitter itself wasn’t immune with someone mimicking the firm’s corporate account.
Previously the blue tick symbol was reserved for accounts Twitter had vetted and determined to be genuine. Twitter says it is aggressively going after deception and impersonation.
The Federal Trade Commission says it’s watching the events at Twitter with, “deep concern” after the platform’s top privacy and compliance officers reportedly quit. The FTC says the departures may increase the risk of Twitter violating regulatory orders. Twitter paid a $150 million penalty in May for violating the 2011 consent order and its updated version established new procedures requiring the company to implement an enhanced privacy protection program as well as beefing up info security. However, that security program was apparently overseen by executives who have reportedly resigned..
Separately, Musk reportedly told employees that bankruptcy isn’t out of the question for the platform. Twitter makes most of its money through advertising and some big advertisers have paused spending while they take stock of all the changes.
“Sorry that this is my first email to the whole company, but there is no way to sugarcoat the message,” wrote Musk, before he described a dire economic climate for businesses like Twitter that rely almost entirely on advertising to make money.
“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” Musk said. “We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.”
At the staff meeting, Musk said some “exceptional” employees could seek an exemption from his return-to-office order but that others who didn’t like it could quit, according to an employee at the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity out of a concern for job security.
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