Twitter’s introduction of checkmark purchase by subscription payment backfired. Numerous users created real-looking fake accounts with the verification tick. Musk wants to prevent that in the future.

Twitter boss Elon Musk only wants to enable the purchase of the coveted verification tick again when the forgery of accounts can be avoided “with a high degree of probability”. Musk also tweeted that Twitter profiles of organizations and individuals would probably have different colored ticks in the future. He did not give any further details.

Musk bought Twitter for around $44 billion at the end of October. The function that was subsequently created on November 9 for purchasing ticks by subscription was quickly suspended again after the frequent appearance of fake celebrity and brand accounts. Musk then announced that he would reintroduce them by the end of last week – which didn’t happen. Then he let it be known that the subscription should not be available again until November 29th.

User created fake accounts

For years, ticks have been granted to politicians and other celebrities, as well as companies and organizations after being scrutinized by Twitter. According to the new model, everyone who pays eight dollars a month should get the tick. There is no identity check. Since the ticks look exactly the same, it is only clear after clicking on the symbol whether you are dealing with an actually verified account or with a new, purchased tick.

Some users created credible fake accounts with the ticks they bought – for example for basketball star LeBron James, the games company Nintendo and ex-US President Donald Trump. The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was forced to apologize to Twitter users who had been led to believe by a fake account that insulin would be distributed free of charge in the future. An allegedly verified fake account of the fruit trader Chiquita announced that it had overthrown the Brazilian government. After a few days, Twitter finally switched the function off again.

Since the takeover by Musk, Twitter has been struggling, among other things, with the reluctance of large advertising customers. Advertising revenue recently accounted for around 90 percent of company revenues.