Elon Musk is postponing his plan to charge Twitter users a $7.99 monthly subscription fee — just one day after announcing the move … and it’s all because of the midterms.
Citing an internal Twitter memo, the New York Times reported Musk was putting his policy on hold — for now — over concerns his verification service would cause the spread of fake news across his social media platform, potentially influencing voters during the midterms.
Twitter employees had made a stink about it, insisting anyone could pay for the blue check subscription fee and create accounts posing as President Biden, members of Congress or news organizations. Scammers could then unleash false information about voting results on the verified accounts, causing distrust among citizens ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Over the weekend, Musk introduced his “Twitter Blue” subscription fee to verified users and tried to appeal to other people using a celebrity sales pitch. He promised all subscribers would get a blue checkmark “just like the celebrities.” He also mentioned ideas to cut ads and allow for extended videos to be posted on the social media network.
One Twitter worker — using the internal Slack channel to communicate with fellow employees — questioned why the company was “making such a risky change before elections, which has the potential of causing election interference.”
Twitter management buckled under pressure and decided to kick the subscription fee release date to November 9, one day after the election.