And the Twitter confusion over paid and actual verified accounts continues.
After closing a $44 billion dollar deal last month, entrepreneur and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has taken over Twitter and overseen one controversy after another ever since. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened since Musk took charge.
$8 Charge for Verification (Now Paused)
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or who doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” Musk said in a tweet on Nov. 1.
Now, the blue checkmark may mean one of two things—either the account was verified under the previous verification criteria (active, notable, and authentic), or that the account has paid for an $8 monthly subscription to Twitter’s new Twitter Blue subscription service.
Just days after his reign over the company began, Musk laid off thousands of employees in various departments.. The head of Twitter’s trust and safety team, Yoel Roth, confirmed in a tweet nearly 50% of employees were laid off. Many employees then took to the platform saying they had been locked out of their company email accounts or were simply let go.
“Thankful for the positively life–changing 15+ months I experienced working at Twitter,” tweeted by now former employee Innanoshe Richard Akuson.
Roth himself also left the company, as did several other senior high-level executives. Most recently, Musk terminated thousands of contractors in charge of critical services like content moderation and engineering.
The Rise of Hate Speech and Racial Slurs
Research by the Center for Countering Digital Hate found that the number of tweets containing various racial, ethnic, and homophobic slurs soared—and in one case even tripled—in the week following Musk’s takeover.
Many celebrities like Lebron James, Mia Farrow, and Yvette Nicole Brown have spoken out to condemn hate speech, while others have left the platform completely.
“Turns out Hate speech is what folks mean when they say “free” speech,” tweeted actress Yvette Nicole Brown following the surge in slurs..
Musk has been an advocate for “free speech” and earlier this year tweeted that he’s against censorship that goes beyond the law.
Here’s what you can expect on the platform moving for, according to Musk’s most recent tweets: