Twitter owner Elon Musk set to charge users for blue ticks in major shake-up

Multi-billionaire businessman Elon Musk completed his Twitter takeover last week, purchasing the social media platform for $44bn (£37bn).

Following the takeover, the world's richest man immediately fired the company's top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal and its Chief Financial Officer.

As well as making changes to staff, Elon is set to make some major changes to how Twitter users apply for the site's coveted 'blue ticks'.

But what is a blue tick and how can you get one?

Here's everything you need to know.

What is a Twitter blue tick?

The Twitter blue tick lets social media users know that an account of public interest is authentic.

In order to get a blue tick, you have to get your account verified by Twitter.

How to get your Twitter account verified

To receive a blue tick, your account must be authentic, notable and active, according to Twitter.

According to the platform's help page, to encourage and maintain trust between users on the platform, you will need to confirm your identity with Twitter in order to be verified.

Aspiring blue tick holders will be asked to choose one of the following three methods to verify their identity:

  • Provide a link to an official website that references you (or your organisation) and your Twitter account. For individuals, the organisation that owns the website must be verified on Twitter.
  • Provide a photo of a valid official government-issued identification document, such as your driver’s licence or passport. This requirement applies to individuals, not companies, brands or organisations.
  • Provide an official email address with a domain relevant to the notability category you choose. For individuals, the organisation the domain is associated with must be verified on Twitter.

To make your account notable, users will have to either provide news coverage on themselves, a link to a Google Trends account, prove they have a high follower/mention count, or provide industry specific references.

Your account must be active with a record of adherence to the Twitter rules.

These include ensuring you have a profile name and picture, a public account, a confirmed email address and phone number and have not violated Twitter rules in the past.

How to apply for a blue tick

Once you have understood all the above information, simply go onto the 'More…' section on Twitter.

Here, you will need to select Settings and Support, then Settings and Privacy.

Once you are on the right page, select your account then Account Information before entering your password.

Then, you will need to tap on the Verified tab, Request Verification and Start Request to fill out the application form.

How much will Elon Musk charge for a blue tick?

The multi-billionaire has said that Twitter will soon charge $8 (£7) a month to Twitter users who want a blue tick by their name, stating that it was "essential to defeat spam/scam".

Musk added that paid users would have priority in replies and searches, and half as many advertisements.

He said via his Twitter account: "Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is b*******. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month."

The Twitter owner added: "You will also get: – Priority in replies, mentions & search, which is essential to defeat spam/scam – Ability to post long video & audio – Half as many ads.

"And paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us."

The move was slammed by people online, with Nu Wexler, former Twitter head of global policy communications, warning that introducing a fee for blue ticks could make it harder to spot disinformation.

He told the BBC's Today programme: "With disinformation as an issue that a lot of platforms are struggling with, verification is one of the ways that journalists, academic researchers and some users use to filter out disinformation or low quality information.

"If you're offering up blue checks for rent, it makes it harder to sift through disinformation and find high quality information."

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