By Ahmad Muto
The new management of Twitter has been grappling with the idea of how to roll out the paid-for Twitter verified checkmarks weeks after a premature roll out that was suspended.
The new Twitter boss, Elon Musk has revealed that the $8 (30,000) per month paid-for arrangement is being finalized and on Friday, December 2 roll out will start in earnest.
The new checkmarks will come in different colours for organizations/companies, government agencies, ministries and departments and individuals.
“Sorry for the delay, we’re tentatively launching Verified on Friday next week. Gold check for companies, grey check for government, blue for individuals (celebrity or not) and all verified accounts will be manually authenticated before check activates. Painful, but necessary,” he responded to a tweet on Friday, November 24, prodding him about the delay
Remember the first time he attempted a roll out early this month, it turned out messy that world leaders got impersonated and phony tweets were put out; threatening world peace and some companies saw their share prices drop because of fake tweets attributed to their brand(s).
On this he tweeted: “Deliberate impersonation/deception will result in account suspension. Organizational affiliation, bio and follower count distinguish between people who genuinely have the exact same name. We shall see how it goes.”
Meanwhile, here in Uganda where the app has become a kind of opinion Square where leaders are held accountable, banter is exchanged and news shared, the paid-for checkmark has generated debate with media personalities in particular stirring it up to great proportions. Immediately after the announcement, a number of journalists vowed not to pay for the checkmark arguing that it is going lose purpose. Canary Mugume, a reporter with a city media house called it extortion.
Another journalist, Walter Mwesigye last week went bare knuckles on the app with influencers who accused him of exaggerating his importance when he said the checkmark won’t be necessary to have if every Tom, Dick and Harry can have it. The ‘influencers’ assured him that he is only verified because he is attached to a media house, however, he is not that important going by the numbers.
Comedian Conan Tumusiime said it is not necessary to have the checkmark at sh30,000 per month because it is not even a measure of intelligence.