Musk revealed past week that the recently acquired company has seen considerable revenue losses as a result of notable advertisers withdrawing. Now, it’s been revealed that Twitter employees were selling blue-check verification badges for $15,000 behind the scenes.
On November 5, Elon Musk corroborated reports that Twitter staff were selling user verification badges.
“Twitter employees were selling verification for upwards of $15,000. For certain accounts, mine included, they would refuse to verify you through the standard application and then privately offer to verify you for $$ behind the scenes. Investigation needed ,” WSBChairman—a person with 900,000 followers—claimed on the website on Nov. 5. Musk responded, “Yup,” to that user’s assertion.
Neither the WSBChairman nor Musk offered any additional information or proof. In the meantime, no notable ex Twitter executives have made a public statement about the situation.
“Far too many legacy ‘verified’ checkmarks were handed out, often arbitrarily, so in reality they are not verified,” Musk wrote. “You can buy as many as you want right now with a Google search. Piggybacking off payment system plus Apple/Android is a much better way to ensure verification.”
Last week, the CEO of Tesla disclosed a plan to charge verified members $8 per month to maintain their blue checkmark, which has evolved into a sort of social media status symbol. Verification badges were suggested as a way to demonstrate the authenticity of an account, but Musk claimed that it led to a “lord-and-peasant” arrangement on the platform.
Additionally, Musk acknowledged that he recently made layoffs as a result of the company losing more than $4 million daily. He allegedly fired thousands of Twitter employees, according to reports.
“Everyone exited was offered 3 months of severance, which is 50 percent more than legally required,” he wrote.
While this is going on, some Democratic politicians have already targeted Musk and Twitter. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a letter to look into the purchase since key Saudi royal family investors are in the business. But many years prior to Musk’s purchase of the business last month, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had already acquired a stake in it.
“I write to draw your attention to potential national security concerns arising from the recently completed takeover of Twitter, Inc. by Elon Musk and a number of private investors,” Murphy wrote, according to reports. “Setting aside the vast stores of data that Twitter has collected on American citizens, any potential that Twitter’s foreign ownership will result in increased censorship, misinformation, or political violence is a grave national security concern.”
Musk revealed this past week that the recently acquired company has seen considerable revenue losses as a result of notable advertisers withdrawing. The wealthy internet entrepreneur claimed that activist organizations were driving the opposition against him and claimed that “they’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”