South African-born billionaire Elon Musk may not be considered a Hip Hop figure. However, the new owner of Twitter has a lot of power over the platform regularly used by rappers, music executives, media figures, and fans.
Elon Musk officially purchased Twitter on October 27. Reportedly, his first order of business was firing a number of top executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal who could walk away with a nearly $60 million severance package.
Twitter could also see a substantial change on the actual platform. According to reports, the company could begin charging $19.99 per month for the Twitter Blue feature. It previously cost $4.99 per month.
The paid subscription service provided premium features for paying customers. It appears Elon Musk now wants the new monthly Twitter Blue cost to apply to anyone that has been verified.
Apparently, all verified Twitter accounts will have 90 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue. They could lose their “blue check” verification by opting out. The blue badge informs other users that a particular account is authentic and notable.
Critics Express Concern Over Possible Twitter Blue Changes
Elon Musk is already receiving some pushback for the potential move to strip certain accounts of their blue check verification. Theoretical cosmologist Katie Mack is one of the critics expressing concern about a Twitter Blue modification.
“The point of Twitter verification is that for certain individuals/organizations it’s useful to be able to verify their statements are coming from them. (This is why so many journalists/reporters are verified.) It’s supposed to help combat disinformation, not be a status symbol,” tweeted Katie Mack on Sunday.
This morning, financial journalist Martin Lewis tweeted, “Having campaigned against PAID-FOR scam ads for years, I’m concerned at rumors Twitter will turn the verified #blueTick into a paid-for option. Scammers, shysters, criminals are likely to be happy to pay for, and manipulate this, for a veneer of legitimacy.”
Elon Musk joked about the reports of changes coming to Twitter Blue. He responded to Bitcoin developer Shibetoshi Nakamoto’s troll tweet about the story by posting, “Oh no, all our diabolical plans have been revealed!!”
LeBron James Calls On Elon Musk To Deal With Hate Speech On Twitter
There has also been a lot of focus on the rise of hate speech on Twitter since Elon Musk took over. A report claims the use of the n-word increased by nearly 500% in the 12 hours after Musk finalized his purchase of Twitter.
LeBron James even commented on the reported rise of hate speech on Twitter. The billionaire NBA superstar tweeted, “I don’t know Elon Musk and, [to be honest], I could care less who owns Twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary [as f###]. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech.”
Meanwhile, Elon Musk seems to have his attention more on gauging the public interest in bringing back Vine than concern over verified accounts or n-word usage. Twitter acquired Vine, the short-form video hosting service, in October 2012 before shutting it down in 2017.