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Twitter | Elon Musk removes ‘Official’ patch shortly after launch



(San Francisco) Twitter owner Elon Musk on Wednesday removed the gray “Official” crest, reserved for governments and media personalities, hours after its launch, in a new setback the entrepreneur is used to.

“I just deleted it,” tweeted the general manager, in response to a user who noticed that his crest was missing.

“The blue tick will put everyone on the same level,” added the multi-billionaire.

Twitter had begun rolling out the “Official” crest on Wednesday, signaling an account’s authenticity and notoriety, and distinguishing itself from the blue check mark, which has fulfilled this role until now.

But Elon Musk wants to integrate account verification into Twitter Blue, a monthly subscription that will increase to $8 a month, and will be open to everyone, not just organizations and celebrities.

Accounts such as those of AFP in French, English and Spanish, that of the American deputy Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of Pope Francis in English or even of the controversial rapper Kanye West had received the “Official” crest before it does not disappear.

Political leaders have received an “Official Government” crest, including French Head of State Emmanuel Macron, US President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This crest has not disappeared.

Twitter did not give details on Wednesday on the criteria for the stillborn “Official” patch.

On the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, Esther Crawford, director of product development at Twitter, unveiled this new strategy.

“A lot of people are wondering how it will be possible to distinguish between @TwitterBlue followers with blue labels and accounts verified as official,” M Crawford.

“That’s why we’re introducing the ‘Official’ label for some accounts when we launch,” she added.

An initiative dismissed just a few hours later by Elon Musk.

“Twitter’s telecare operator is online! Please mention your complaints below,” he tweeted, before adding, “Please note that Twitter is going to do a lot of silly things in the coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t.

The whimsical boss of Tesla and SpaceX is followed by more than 115 million subscribers on the social network he bought at the end of October.

Since this weekend, on the iPhone, the mobile application of Twitter already mentions the arrival of the new Twitter Blue, in these terms: “Power to the people: Your account will receive a blue check, just like celebrities, companies and politicians that you already follow”.

But the new formula, which mixes practical tools and identity verification, raises many questions and criticisms, many users and observers fearing that this system will devalue the guarantee of authenticity that the blue tick was supposed to represent.

“The verification extended to all will democratize journalism and give more power to the people”, insisted Elon Musk on Sunday.

He also assures that Twitter Blue will help fight against fake accounts and diversify the platform’s sources of revenue, while several advertisers temporarily withdrew from Twitter immediately after the acquisition.

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