Paid verification? Elon Musk looms as Twitter owner in week one – National

Billionaire Elon Musk is already bringing big changes to Twitter as he begins his first week as the social media platform’s owner.

A venture capitalist working with Musk tweeted a poll asking how much users would be willing to pay for the blue tick, which Twitter has used in the past to verify high-profile accounts so other users know that they really are.

Musk, whose account is verified, replied, “Interesting.”

Often bestowed on celebrities, politicians, business leaders and journalists, critics have derided the sign as an elite status symbol.

But Twitter also uses the blue tick to verify activists and people who suddenly find themselves in the news, as well as little-known journalists at small publications around the world, as an additional tool to curb misinformation stemming from accounts that themselves pass off as people.

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“The entire verification process is being overhauled,” Musk tweeted Sunday in response to a user asking for help with verification.

Musk has invited a group of friends and investors from the tech world to help with the San Francisco-based company’s transformation, which will likely involve a workforce reshuffle. Musk fired CEO Parag Agrawal and other top executives last week. There is uncertainty as to if and when he might begin major layoffs.

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Users can choose between different versions of Twitter: Elon Musk

Among those who have revealed they are helping Musk is Sriram Krishnan, a partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which pledged to be a part of Musk’s plan to buy and privatize the company earlier this spring.

Krishnan, who is also a former Twitter product manager, said in a tweet that it “is a tremendously important company and can have a huge impact on the world and Elon is the person making this possible.”

Jason Calacanis, the venture capitalist who tweeted the poll about whether users would pay to be verified, said over the weekend that he’s “hanging out on Twitter a bit just trying to be as helpful as possible during the transition.”

Calacanis said the team already has “a very comprehensive plan to reduce the number (and visibility of) bots, spammers and bad actors on the platform.” And in the Twitter poll, he asked if users would pay anywhere from $5 to $15 to “get verified and get a blue tick” on Twitter. Twitter is currently free for most users as it relies on advertising for its revenue.

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Elon Musk is taking over Twitter amid mixed reactions from politicians and the public

Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion in April, but he didn’t finally finalize the deal until Thursday night after his attempts to walk away from it led to a protracted legal battle with the company. Musk’s attorneys are now asking the Delaware Chancery Court to dismiss the case, according to a court filing released Monday. The two sides are due to go to court in November if they don’t finalize the deal by the end of last week.

Musk has made a number of statements about how to fix Twitter since earlier this year, and it remains unclear which proposals he will prioritize.

He has promised to reduce some of Twitter’s content restrictions to encourage freedom of expression, but said Friday no major decisions about content or restoring suspended accounts will be made until a “content moderation council” with differing viewpoints is established. He later qualified that comment, tweeting, “Anyone suspended for minor and dubious reasons will be released from Twitter jail.”

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Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover: what it means for your personal information

The head of a cryptocurrency exchange that invested $500 million in Musk’s Twitter acquisition said he had a number of reasons to support the deal, including the possibility that Musk would convert Twitter into a cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency trading company supports the concept known as Web3, which many cryptocurrency enthusiasts envision as the next generation of the internet.

“We want to make sure crypto has a seat at the table when it comes to free speech,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told CNBC on Monday. “And there’s more tactical stuff like we want to help bring Twitter into Web3 when they’re ready.”

He said cryptocurrency could be useful in solving some of Musk’s immediate challenges, such as the plan to charge a premium membership fee for more users.

“This can be done very easily and globally using cryptocurrency as a means of payment,” he said. Paid verification? Elon Musk looms as Twitter owner in week one – National

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