Elon Musk: Twitter boss announces blue tick shake-up

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Twitter, has announced a shake-up of the platform's blue tick verification system, saying it has become too easy to obtain.

The blue tick has long been a status symbol for social media users, indicating that a person or business is in some way notable or important.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Musk said the system was “fundamentally broken” and that he planned to address it.

“Verification should be based on contribution to public conversation, not just follower count,” he said.

Twitter said it was “working on a new authentication and verification programme”. It did not give details but said it was aiming to make the process “more consistent”.

The company's current system has been criticised for being too easy to game, with some users paying to have their accounts verified.

In 2019, Twitter suspended its public verification process after it was accused of favouring celebrities and other high-profile accounts.

Musk's comments come as he has become increasingly vocal on the platform, often taking to Twitter to comment on topics such as cryptocurrency, the environment and the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech mogul has 28 million followers on the platform and is one of the most widely followed accounts.

Twitter said it was “working hard to create a new verification process that is transparent, consistent, and trustworthy for everyone in the community”.

It added that it was aiming to create a system that was “more equitable and easier to understand”.

The platform said it would also work to ensure that its verification process was free from “unfair bias or influence”. It did not say when the changes would take effect.