Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk wondered aloud if charging $8 for the blue tick to verify accounts after receiving intense backlash from the platform’s power users over the suggested $20 price tag.
Amongst some of the more notable people outraged was horror writer Stephen King.
“$20 a month to keep my blue check? F**k that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” King wrote on Twitter.
The author followed up with a tweet saying, “It ain’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing.”
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The Tesla co-founder had planned to hike the price of Twitter Blue, the platform’s premium subscription service, from $4.99 to $19.99 per month, and allow only subscribers to retain the blue tick of verification, according to a report from The Verge. In addition, users would get 90 days to join Twitter Blue or would have their verified status revoked.
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Responding to King’s scathing remarks, Musk offered a significantly reduced price, writing, “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8.”
The tech billionaire continued, “I will explain the rationale in longer form before this is implemented. It is the only way to defeat the bots & trolls.”
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Since Musk took over Twitter on October 27, he has already made some sweeping changes. Immediately after taking over, he fired CEO Parag Agarwal, CFO Neg Segal, General Council Sean Edgett and Head of Policy, Legal and Trust Vijaya Gadde.
He also changed his Twitter bio to Chief Twit. Most recently he has changed it to Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator. In an SEC filing, Musk has identified himself as CEO and has dissolved the Twitter board of directors.