Elon Musk scraps Twitter 'Official' verified labels just hours after launch

The changes to the verification system have been a central part of Elon Musk’s plans since the billionaire completed his takeover of the site last month. Credit: PA

Elon Musk has appeared to scrap Twitter's new 'Official' verification label just hours after it was launched.

The social media platform had started to roll out grey ticks and an 'Official' label to high-profile accounts in its latest approach to verification on Wednesday.

But users noticed the label disappeared around 5pm, with the world's richest man Musk tweeting "I just killed it", adding: "Blue check will be the great leveler".

Musk, who completed a takeover of the platform last month, then tweeted: "Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. "We will keep what works and change what doesn’t."

Twitter is preparing to allow any user to sign up for a blue-tick verification badge by subscribing to the Twitter Blue service and paying $8 (£7) a month.

But the move has been controversial, with some concerned it will make it harder to identify authentic accounts on the site and could lead to more misinformation.

With Musk reportedly planning to bring back banned accounts such as Donald Trump's, a number of celebrities have said they will no longer use the platform, including model Gigi Hadid, who described it as a "cesspool of hate and bigotry".

Other celebrities like Stephen Fry and Whoopi Goldberg also said they are leaving.

Comedian and actor Stephen Fry Credit: PA

In response to concerns over the new verification process, Twitter added a second “Official” badge to select accounts as a way of distinguishing Blue subscribers from those the platform has verified as official.

The grey Official badge started to appear on a number of high-profile accounts on Wednesday, including those of major news organisations and public figures.

But it was removed from the platform later in the day.

Some industry commentators had argued the new double-verification process would only make the system more confusing.

Tweeting about the change before it was removed, Twitter’s director of product management, Esther Crawford, said: “Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase.

“Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures.

“The new Twitter Blue does not include ID verification – it’s an opt-in, paid subscription that offers a blue checkmark and access to select features.

“We’ll continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types.”

The changes to the verification system have been a central part of Elon Musk’s plans since the billionaire completed his takeover of the site last month.

Musk said the current system was one of "lords and peasants" and opening the verification process to more people will help democratise Twitter and cut down on the spam and bot accounts on the site.

However, critics have argued charging people to get a blue badge and the other perks that come with it will only help those who are able to pay for it and not the platform’s authentic users as a whole.

There have also been reports advertisers could withdraw from the site if Musk enacts a controversial plan to bring back banned accounts such as Donald Trump's.

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