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Journalists are refusing to see eye to eye with Elon Musk on the issue of paid subscriptions for verification.
Long before taking over the reins at Twitter, Elon Musk has been on a mission to shake up the social media platform. His intentions about making the platform a haven of free speech are not hidden from the public eye. However, there is a very thin line between free speech and fake news. That is why it is a major goal of the new dispensation, to become “by far the most accurate source of information about the world.” While this is a welcome development, given the rate at which spams, scams, and fake news are all over most social media, Elon Musk is facing criticisms about some of the other ideas he is presently pushing.
Elon Musk Under Fire after Revealing Paid Verification Plans
Last week, Musk tweeted about plans to put out the current “Lords and Peasants” system that the platform currently employs. And he hopes to achieve this, by charging a monthly subscription fee of $8 for users with the blue badge. According to the billionaire CEO, the move will “democratize journalism and empower the voice of the people.”
But it appears that so far, Musk has failed to convince users.
For many, the move does not in any way stop criminal entities from their impersonation business. Rather, it emboldens their act as all they have to pay is some cheap amount of dollars to be verified. The fear is that verification has to truly mean something or else the platform will go on to become less valued as an app.
Journalists Find a More-Decentralized Option
Meanwhile, the most offended Twitter users look to be the journalists. A large percentage of them believe that the charged subscription plan will do more harm than good. The reason is that journalists are so-called because they are professionals in the communication business. But when their craft becomes overcrowded, anyone would be taken as a reliable source. Thereby, defeating the principles of information sharing.
For others, the move is a money-making one and Musk has no right to use words like ‘empower the voice of the people.’ That is because he’s charging, at the very least.
As a result, a movement to leave Twitter for a more decentralized alternative platform is on. In just a week, a site called Mastodon has gained over 230,000 new users, according to the BBC. Mastodon operates similarly to Twitter, but it runs across several servers that are owned and operated by individuals and organizations on a collective decentralized network. This is the advantage that some journalists are hoping to tap into. Especially since an account cannot be closed by one centralized entity or individual.