Verified Twitter users across media and entertainment are responding to reports that they’ll soon have to pay the social media platform to keep their blue checks.
The proposed plan, which would give verified users 90 days to subscribe to the Twitter Blue platform for $19.99, is said to launch on Nov. 7. Many online are – at the very least – skeptical of the plan, while others are telling newly crowned CEO Elon Musk and Twitter to “go f— themselves.”
“I’m probably the perfect target for this,” wrote FiveThirtyEight founder and CEO Nate Silver. “Use Twitter a ton, can afford $20/mo, not particularly anti-Elon, but my reaction is that I’ve generated a ton of valuable free content for Twitter over the years and they can go f— themselves.”
Following a weekend announcement from Musk that Twitter will be revising its verification process, news broke Sunday that the social media company is planning to charge $19.99 per month to be part of its Twitter Blue platform, which verifies users. Citing internal correspondences they’d received, The Verge reported that Musk’s “directive is to change Twitter Blue, the company’s optional, $4.99 a month subscription that unlocks additional features, into a more expensive subscription that also verifies users,” and that the site “is currently planning to charge $19.99 for the new Twitter Blue subscription … Employees working on the project were told on Sunday that they need to meet a deadline of November 7th to launch the feature or they will be fired.”
TPM founder Josh Marshall wrote a lengthy 11-tweet thread about why he thinks such a plan would be a “colossal failure.” “There’s a reason why literally no social network has ever tried to do anything like it. But let’s get down to some specifics,” he said, adding: “When you’re selling a subscription without strong transactional benefits you’re relying heavily on affinity. Twitter didn’t have a lot of that kind of affinity pre-Musk. Even less afterwards.”
Journalist and podcast Kara Swisher made clear that the new plan was not for her and that she “would not pay a dime for verification.” “Hard no. I pay half as much for @netflix,” she wrote.
Others, like writer Ed Solomon, saw the merits of a “nominal fee” for verified users, suggesting that it would “discourage bots.” “But charging $20/mo to keep a blue check makes me think 2 things,” he explained. “1. They think the check is about status (it’s not); 2. They want to reduce voices critical of them.”
Writers like Steven King, on the other hand, were a little less inviting of the idea: “F— that, they should pay me.”
Through it all, Musk himself knows that he has people talking; he even tweeted out a response to a highly trafficked poll asking how much users would pay to be verified.
Read on for a full roundup of these and other verified Twitter users who poked fun at, fully derided and threatened to quit the social media site if Musk moves forward with the plan to charge.