Twitter CEO Elon Musk has hinted that he may drop $20 a month from the blue tick verification fee during an exchange with horror author Stephen King, in which he offered him a discount.
The billionaire wants to make good on his promise to make the social media platform profitable by introducing a fee for Twitter users who want to keep their verification badge.
But in a sign that the price may not be a done deal, Musk responded to a tweet from the author complaining about the new fee.
‘$20 a month to keep my blue check? F*** it, they should pay me,’ wrote King, author of The Shinning who has 6.9 million followers. “If it gets set up, I’m gone like Enron.”
But Musk, noting the author’s complaint, seemed in a mood to haggle.
Author Stephen King, who wrote Shinning, said he will leave the platform if Musk faces a blue-tick verification fee
“We have to pay the bills somehow! Twitter can’t rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?’ He answered.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the discount would only apply to King or the broader Twitter user base as well, but the comments suggested the $20 figure wasn’t exactly set in stone.
Musk went on to say that he will “explain the logic in longer form” before implementing the charge, but added that it is “the only way to defeat bots and trolls”.
When users responded to say King could more than afford the fee, he replied: ‘It’s not the money, it’s the principle of the thing.’
The author, who has previously said he “admires Elon Musk,” has yet to respond directly to the CEO. But many of his fans rushed in to comment in his stead.
“44 billion to buy the place and his new income stream is tossing a tin mug at Stephen King,” said one Twitter user.
“It’s kind of you to give Stephen King who is worth $500 million a $12/month discount,” said another.
‘He doesn’t go. They threaten everyone but they need this platform, said a third user.
Actress, author and comedian Kathy Burke also said she would not pay if a fee was introduced on the platform
King is not the only blue-tick Twitter user to threaten to abandon his blue ticks if a fee is introduced on the platform.
Actress, author and comedian Kathy Burke also said she would not pay.
“Musk can screw with his idea of charging blue tickers. I give everything to this hell site for FREE. Insolent b**** should pay ME. Don’t need that poxy anyway.
Celebrities who have threatened to boycott the site include TV screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, actress Mia Farrow, as well as Madam Secretary star Téa Leoni, She Hulk actor Jameela Jamil, and writers and activists Shaun King and Amy Siskind.
George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek, also said he would consider heading towards the digital door.
Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis posted a poll on Monday asking people if they would pay $5, $10 or $15 per month, or nothing for verification. About 81 percent said they would not pay, at the time of writing.
“Interesting,” Musk said in response to the vote.
Since Elon’s takeover, social media has limited some content moderation tools.
Elon Musk is pictured talking to employees at Twitter headquarters. The CEO allegedly gave an ultimatum to the platform’s engineers, telling them to revamp the platform in two weeks
A blue tick allows other Twitter users to verify that other users are who they say they are. The feature has always been free since Twitter’s inception, but Musk promises to shake up the company’s business
A blue tick allows other Twitter users to verify that other users are who they say they are.
The feature has always been free since Twitter’s inception, but since Musk first promised to buy Twitter, the world’s richest man has made it clear that he planned to shake things up at the social media giant.
The price will cover unspecified features that have yet to be revealed.
The exchange comes after the new Twitter boss allegedly issued an ultimatum to the platform’s engineers, telling them to revamp Twitter’s verification system in less than two weeks or face the sack.
The employees only found out about the project on October 30 and have until November 7 to deliver.
Twitter restricts certain content moderation tools just days before midterms
Days after Elon Musk took over Twitter and just before the midterms in America, the social media has limited some content moderation tools.
That can hamper staff’s ability to stop misinformation, as they won’t be able to manually amend or penalize accounts.
The change is the latest to be implemented by Musk and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member.
Those working in Twitter’s Trust and Safety organization are currently unable to modify or penalize accounts that violate the platform’s rules on misleading information, offensive posts and hate speech.
According to insiders on the matter, they can only punish people who make posts that violate Twitter’s rules to the extent that they harm the real world, according to Bloomberg.
They added that the team manually maintained these posts.
The change is the latest to be implemented by Musk, pictured at Twitter HQ, and comes after he made significant staff cuts and fired the Twitter board, making himself the sole member
At Twitter, staff have dashboards, called agent tools, to ban or suspend accounts that have violated policy.
Policy violations may be detected automatically or flagged by other Twitter users.
However, only Twitter employees can delete or suspend accounts using the dashboard.
But the tools have been out of service since last week, according to insiders.
This restriction is said to have been put in place as Twitter transitions to Musk ownership in an attempt to stop changes to the app requested by employees.
Sources at the company who asked to remain anonymous revealed that the high level of access to the tools given to employees has dropped from hundreds to just 15.
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