April 25, 2023: Twitter marked the British far-right political party Britain First an “official organization,” asking questions about the direction in which Elon Musk has considered the platform after its content moderation and verification look.
Britain First gets a gold checkmark on the social media site, a logo that costs $1,000 monthly and is committed to businesses and non-profit organizations. When capturing on the checkmark, a textbox reveals the message, “This account is approved because it’s an official group on Twitter.”
Britain First is a nationalist political group in the U.K. that workshops against multiculturalism and what it witnesses as the Islamification of the U.K. Its leader Paul Golding, an old member of the neo-Nazi National First party, involving in numerous discussions over many years, including provocative behaviour at several mosques.
On April 20, about 400,000 legacy-verified Twitter pages lost their blue checkmarks as part of the drive to gain more the platform more profit from subscriptions. Individual users must give $8 for a membership with Twitter Blue, providing them features like the blue tick and the capacity to edit tweets. Hence, organizations can pay north of $1,000 per month for approving their accounts and individual accounts connected with them with the gold mark.
In a huge reversal from Twitter’s legacy verified start, multiple celebrities had their blue checks over the weekend. Musk revealed that he paid for some, including writer Stephen King, celebrity William Shatner and basketball star LeBron James.
Twitter has a grey checkmark for government accounts; U.S. President, U.K. Prime Minister, and French President have grey symbols. This feature is unpaid.
Brands fled Twitter advertising en masse after Musk’s $44 billion deal, completed in October 2022, expressing concern about the app’s failing to tackle malicious posts. Musk has his style as a “free speech absolutist” and wants to encourage free expression on Twitter.
News organizations have also quit the platform because it is undermining their credibility. Musk’s Twitter shows that the accounts of several media outlets, like NPR, the BBC and CBC, as “state-affiliated,” a position that alarmed executives and journalists at the organizations.
In answer to those labels, NPR and CBC stated that they would stop using Twitter officially to disseminate reporting. Twitter dropped those government-funded media positions on Friday.