Elon Musk says Twitter's verification process 'being revamped right now'

The issue has been a hot topic at the social media company and was put in the spotlight when the billionaire began his takeover bid

Elon Musk completed the acquisition of Twitter after months of back and forth. Reuters
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Twitter is currently revising the way it verifies users, new owner Elon Musk has said, without offering further details.

The billionaire, who completed his $44 billion acquisition of the San Francisco-based microblogging platform on Thursday, made the suggestion in response to a Twitter user who was apparently having trouble with being verified on the platform.

“The whole verification process is being revamped right now,” said Mr Musk, a prolific Twitter user known to send out tweets that are often vague or cryptic.

The issue has been a hot topic at Twitter and was put in the spotlight when Mr Musk began his takeover bid.

The microblogging platform places a blue tick next to an account's user name to denote that it is a real account.

Current Twitter rules stipulate that users can receive a blue tick if they provide links to an official website, provide a photo of a valid official government-issued identification document or an official email address.

The company also launched its first subscription service, Twitter Blue, in June last year, which offers users access to premium features and editing tweets.

The edit button — a long-awaited feature — was introduced in a few select countries earlier this month.

Mr Musk completed the acquisition following a whirlwind several months in which he went back-and-forth with Twitter's executives.

A US judge gave both parties until last Friday to finalise the deal, which had dragged on since April when the Tesla chief executive made a surprise offer to buy the company at $54.20 a share.

Throughout the saga, both sides accused each other on a variety of issues, especially on the number of fake or spam accounts on the platform, which almost killed the deal.

Mr Musk, the world's wealthiest person who has about 112.3 million followers, tried to walk away from the deal in May after accusing the social media company of understating the number of bot and fake accounts on the platform.

Twitter repeatedly denied Mr Musk's accusations, saying its figures were accurate. This led to a series of lawsuits between the two parties.

Mr Musk had said in April that he would ensure all users are human, a reference to another of his pledges to combat bots — automated programs designed to do certain tasks, such as interacting with users — on the platform.

“I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans,” he said, without, again, providing specific details.

Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal, who replaced founder Jack Dorsey last November, and finance chief Ned Segal have left the company and will not be returning, CNBC reported.

Vijaya Gadde, the head of legal policy, trust and safety, was reportedly fired, the Washington Post reported.

In a separate tweet, Mr Musk put out a poll asking users whether to bring back Vine, the short video app that was shut down by Twitter in 2016 and is considered to be the precursor to TikTok.

While it is unclear why Mr Musk released the poll, it is known that he seeks the opinion of his users on certain issues, such as when he was considering selling a 10 per cent stake in Tesla and if Twitter needs an edit button.

It is also unclear how much sway the poll results have on his decisions.

The Vine poll has garnered more than 1.11 million votes, with about three quarters in favour of the potential move.

Twitter bought Vine in 2012, reportedly for $30 million, and helped content creators to reach a wider audience.

However, they eventually left the platform after disagreements on compensation. In 2016, Twitter discontinued the service, after it refused to continue investing in the app.

The following year, China's ByteDance acquired Musical.ly, which it then merged with its own short-video application TikTok.

Updated: October 31, 2022, 10:05 AM
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