Twitter is delaying the rollout of account verification for its paid Twitter Blue subscription plan until after the midterm elections, a source familiar with the decision confirmed to CNN.
The decision to roll back the new feature comes a day after the platform launched an updated version of its iOS app that promises to allow users who pay a monthly subscription fee to get a blue check mark on their profile, a feature proposed by CEO Elon Musk. as a way to fight spam on the platform.
The app’s latest update was revealed on Apple’s App Store, and users will now have to pay $7.99 a month for the company’s Twitter Blue verification feature, “just like the celebrities, companies and politicians you already follow.” The brand has long been used to confirm the authenticity of government officials, dignitaries and journalists.
A test of the service by CNN on Saturday afternoon suggested the rollout was not yet complete ahead of Sunday’s decision. A new Twitter account created by CNN that opted for the paid feature did not display a check mark on its public profile. Twitter also appears to still be charging $4.99, an outdated price.
The decision to delay implementation comes as the whole decision to charge users for verification has been met with widespread public backlash. In a show of defiance, some celebrities on the platform posed as Musk over the weekend and revealed a potential flaw in the “Blue Check” system.
Comedian Sarah Silverman used her verified account to troll Musk by copying his profile picture, cover image and name. A tweet from Silverman’s account was the only one that stood out @SarahKSilverman the handle
“I’m a free speech absolutist and I eat doodya for breakfast every day,” Silverman he tweeted Saturday. His account also retweeted messages supporting Democratic candidates.
Silverman’s account was labeled as “temporarily restricted” on Sunday, with a warning that “there has been unusual activity from this account” displayed to visitors before logging in. The comedian then changed his account to his usual form, with his name and image.
Television actress Valerie Bertinelli made a similar switch account name To the CEO of Twitter, the tweet that friday”[t]A blue tick meant that your identity was verified. Fraudsters would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!” He then responded to a follower who asked how the checkmark doesn’t apply, to write“[y]You can buy a blue badge for $7.99 a month without verifying who you are.
After changing his profile name to Musk, Bertinelli tweeted and retweeted various Democratic candidates and hashtags, including “VoteBlueForDemocracy” and “#VoteBlueIn2022.”
The actress changed her account name to Valerie Bertinelli on Sunday. the tweet“[o]I had a good time key-dokey and I think I gave my opinion”.
Trolling activity Musk bought the company and pledged to restore the accounts of users who had been banned from the platform, most notably former President Donald Trump. Musk has also said he will limit restrictions on the company’s content and require a paid subscription to verify the account.
In recent months, Musk has shared conspiracy theories about the attack on Paul Pelosi, called Democrats the party of “division and hate” compared to Former Twitter CEO Joseph Stalin and warned that “the virus of the awakening will destroy civilization.”
CNN’s Brian Fung and Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.