Elon Musk said charging $8 a month for Twitter verification might be 'a dumb decision, but we'll see'

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Elon Musk said charging $8 a month for Twitter verification might be 'a dumb decision, but we'll see'
Elon Musk.Andrew Kelly/Reuters
  • Elon Musk hosted a Twitter Space "town hall" with advertisers where he shared his plans for Twitter.
  • Musk talked about making users pay $8 for a blue checkmark, and said it might be "a dumb decision."
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Elon Musk said his plan to charge Twitter users $8 a month for a blue checkmark might be "a dumb decision, but we'll see," in a Twitter Space with advertisers on Wednesday.

He repeated that he doesn't like the "lords-and-peasants situation where some people have blue checkmarks" on Twitter.

Musk said the US "fought a war to get rid of that stuff," and that is "philosophically how I feel."

Musk announced in a November 1 tweet about "Twitter's current lords & peasants system" that the revamped Twitter Blue subscription, which will give subscribers a blue checkmark, would be $8 a month.

Earlier on Wednesday, Musk had tweeted that "Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months," which he addressed in the Space.

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"Obviously the intent is not to do dumb things," Musk said. "We're not aspirationally dumb. We're aspirationally not dumb."

Musk said the company has to be adventurous and "make some really big leaps and have radical improvements" that come with risk. The key, he said, is being "extremely agile."

"When we make a dumb move, we correct it quickly, that's what really matters," Musk said.

He was joined by Robin Wheeler who heads Twitter's global ad sales team, and Yoel Roth, head of trust and safety at Twitter, in the "advertiser Town Hall."

Musk explained that making users pay $8 for verification is "important" and "necessary" to deal with the "millions of bots" and "troll farms" on Twitter, including "malicious actions by state actors."

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Creating a fake account on Twitter is cheap, Musk said, and "hundreds of millions" of them are made every year. Charging $8 a month raises the cost for a bot or troll to make an account, he said.

"It's not just the money, because you could say, 'Well, wouldn't a state actor have $8 million a day to create a million fake accounts?' Well yes, they've got the budget."

The problem, Musk said, is that a state actor doesn't "have a million credit cards, and they don't have a million phones."

Musk said the platform will "vigorously" pursue impersonation and deception on Twitter, and suspend accounts "at least temporarily" for impersonation or deception.

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