By Ahmad Muto
Following the news on Monday, October 31, 2022 that Twitter will start charging for the blue verification checkmark, those with and without it have since had a lot to say.
While Elon Musk, the new ‘Chief Twit’, thinks it is an avenue to drift the platform away from advertisers as the only source of revenue, so it will not have to bend to their whims, some public figures in Uganda think otherwise.
The proposed mandatory monthly subscription charge has been placed at $20, about sh76,000. Those verified will have to switch to Twitter Blue that was the optional subscription version within 90 days after roll-out. The pay-for-verification feature that Twitter is working on is expected to be ready for roll-out on November 7.
A status symbol of sorts, attached to accounts as proof of authenticity of individuals, companies/organisations and brands, the verification checkmark has been gathering opinion since the news broke.
And only time will tell whether those whose accounts are verified will keep their checkmarks or not.
Journalist Daniel Lutaaya, a verified user, didn’t hide his frustration. “Tell Elon Musk he can take my badge, I don’t want it anymore.”
Canary Mugume, also a journalist, accused Twitter of wanting to rip people off. “Twitter wants to become extortionist.”
Twitter influencer Fred Mwebya (@Ugaman01) tweeted: “So you all wanted the Blue Badge, we now gonna be paying $20 per month. Do you still want it?”
Social media ‘influencer’ @Banwinejr said: “Do you still want the verification badge? You without lunch?”
Social media ‘influencer’@digitaldidan added: “I’m seeing a situation where she’s going to pretend to love a guy just because he pays the $20 for her verification.”
Meanwhile, the Desire Derekford Mugumisa, the head of corporate affairs at Next Media, has revealed that the memo making rounds on social media of the company asking its Twitter verified employees to consider paying for the badge on their own is fake.
“No such memo has been issued,” he said.