Elon Musk responds to backlash over $8 fee for Twitter blue tick: ‘Continue complaining, but...’
Elon Musk announced on Tuesday that verified users on Twitter need to pay $8 monthly fee in order to maintain their badges. He added that they will have access to several other features of the app.
Twitter's new owner Elon Musk on Wednesday responded to uproar over the $8 monthly fee his company has announced for verified accounts on the microblogging site. Reiterating his position to charge users, the Tesla CEO and SpaceX owner tweeted, “To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8.”
In a subsequent tweet, Musk mentioned 1960s British comedy troupe ‘Monty Python’ with a YouTube video of theirs titled ‘Argument’. “Totally stole idea of charging for insults and arguments from Monty Python tbh,” the Twitter owner wrote.
In another tweet, Musk said that Twitter “speaks to the inner masochist in all of us”.
A day ago, he announced Twitter's new $8 monthly charge for verified users, along with a string of features of the social media site they will have access to. In multiple tweets, Musk informed that verified accounts will get “priority in replies, mentions and search, ability to post long video and audio, and half as many ads”.
“Twitter’s current lords & peasants' system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit. Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” he tweeted.
The backlash started earlier this week when reports began swirling that Twitter will soon charge $20 monthly fee from verified accounts for them to maintain their badges. Currently, blue tick users do not pay anything to the microblogging site.
Musk finally broke silence on Tuesday after he responded to author Stephen King's displeasure over the monthly charge issue. “$20 a month to keep my blue check? F*** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” King had tweeted.
To this, the Tesla CEO replied that Twitter “need to pay the bill somehow” and cannot “rely entirely on advertisers”. “How about $8?” Musk tweeted.
“I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls,” he wrote in another post, in response to the author.
Hours after that Musk tweeted the official announcement about the monthly charge.
The Twitter Blue subscription was launched widely by the company nearly a year ago as a way for users to view ad-free articles from certain publishers and make other tweaks to the app, including a different colour for home screen icon.
On multiple occasions since buying Twitter, Musk has announced of revamping the verification process on Twitter.
Twitter accepted Musk's proposal of buying it, and the Tesla CEO officially took over last week, after a journey that saw many twists and turns, including one where he himself terminated the buyout deal alleging violation of mutual purchase agreement by the firm.
Since taking over, Musk has brought about many changes. He has fired three top executives, including CEO Parag Agarwal; announced the setting up of content moderation council and even hinted at working on word limit for tweets.