Old Twitter checkmarks to be removed from April 1

Twitter plans to begin removing the free blue checkmark icons for verified profiles on April 1.

To keep the symbol, individuals would have to take out the Twitter Blue subscription, which costs eight euros per month, it said in a tweet on Friday night. Twitter owner Elon Musk also pointed out that accounts associated with Twitter-verified companies and organizations would automatically get the symbol.

Twitter set the base price for verified companies and organizations in Germany at 950 euros a month plus 50 euros for each connected account. Twitter is struggling with declining advertising revenues after Musk's roughly $44 billion takeover and is hoping for subscription revenue.

Verification check marks used to be awarded free of charge by Twitter to celebrities, politicians or journalists. Musk claimed after the purchase of the service last fall that the previous awarding procedure was "corrupt". Instead, everyone should be able to get the subscription icon without a check.

Musk argued that authentication through payment services and app platforms sufficiently protected against misuse of the new system. But that didn't stop numerous users from creating fake accounts of celebrities and companies with verification checkmarks. Among others, sports stars, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and the fruit specialist Chiquita were affected. Twitter suspended the subscription function for several weeks after the chaos.

Subscription customers must meet several requirements

Since December, there has now been a procedure whereby subscription customers must also meet several requirements. Among other things, their account must be at least 90 days old and linked to a phone number. There is a gold icon for corporate accounts and a gray icon for governments and other organizations.

Musk had repeatedly announced that the previously awarded checkmarks would be phased out over time. The Blue subscription has been available worldwide since Thursday. Several holders of the old icons reported a warning in their profiles that they would have to take out a subscription in order not to lose the checkmark.

Twitter did not provide any information on how quickly the old symbols will be removed. Inquiries to Twitter's press office email address only received a response with a feces emoji, as has been customary for a short time. Musk had dissolved the press department. (SDA)

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