‘A Misinformation Nightmare’ →

Amanda Silberling, writing at TechCrunch, on Twitter’s supposed plans to charge users $20/month to be verified:

Musk and his buddies view this plan as a way to get people to actually give Twitter money. But by monetizing a symbol that currently has value, they will ultimately remove all of that existing value.

Blue checks exist on social platforms as a means of combating misinformation. Currently, if someone makes a fake account pretending to be a world leader, journalist or celebrity, it’s easy to tell it’s a fake if the account doesn’t have a blue check. But under this newly proposed system, there’s not much incentive to pay the $20 per month to stay verified, especially since the once-coveted symbol would be available to anyone willing to pay. It’s quite possible that bad actors trying to pose as journalists to spread fake news would be more incentivized to pay the $20 than actual journalists.

Of course, Musk doesn’t seem to care about misinformation — just this weekend, he shared a link to an article that included baseless claims about the recent horrific attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband.

For better or for worse, Twitter has become the hub for a lot of news, and while it’s not a perfect system, verification is a signal to users that the source they are reading are legitimate. Upsetting that balance is only going to bring more even more misinformation — or worse — to Twitter.