Users aren’t into the idea of paying $8 for a checkmark.
Since taking ownership of social media platform Twitter last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been enacting various major shakeups in the platform’s workforce and framework. Part of the goal of these shakeups is to make more money for the platform, as Musk has claimed that advertiser revenue isn’t enough.
One of Musk’s ideas to profit on Twitter’s userbase is to begin charging users to have the blue verification checkmark on their account. Musk originally proposed a $20 monthly fee for this, but this was immediately met with blowback from users big and small. Most notably, Musk got into a back and forth with prominent author Steven King, who said he would leave the platform before ever paying for verification.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check? F— that, they should pay me,” King tweeted. “If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”
“We need to pay the bills somehow!” Musk tweeted in response to King. “Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
Musk makes me think of Tom Sawyer, who is given the job of whitewashing a fence as punishment. Tom cons his friends into doing the chore for him, and getting them to pay for the privilege. That's what Musk wants to do with Twitter. No, no, no.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) November 3, 2022
This lowered price proposal hasn’t proven any more popular than the original, with many internet and television personalities ripping on Musk for suggesting such a thing.
“So, here’s my question: If you’re trying to create equality on Twitter, why charge anyone to be verified? Just give everyone a blue checkmark then,” The Daily Show host Trevor Noah said on Wednesday night. “Why are you charging people? It doesn’t make sense to offer it as ‘equality’ and then put a price on it, do you get what I’m saying? Can you imagine if MLK was out there like, ‘I have a dream. I have a dream… and I’ll tell you all about it for $8.99 a month.’ It wouldn’t be the same thing.”