Musk: Twitter Will Actually Keep Unverified Accounts In ‘For You’ Section After Backlash


Twitter owner Elon Musk clarified Tuesday that Twitter will let posts from unverified accounts continue appearing in “For You” timelines if a user directly follows the accounts, claiming he “forgot to mention” earlier the significant exception to a new policy only including verified accounts in For You recommendations.

Musk tweeted Tuesday afternoon that unverified accounts’ tweets will remain in users’ For You tab “since you have explicitly asked for them”—less than a day after he said, “Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations.”

Many interpreted the announcement as a blanket elimination of unverified accounts from the For You section, while it’s been widely blasted as a promotion for the small handful of accounts subscribed to Twitter Blue—which has faced complaints for a lax process to ensure a users’ identity is accurate.

Twitter recently announced it will start stripping blue verification checkmarks from “legacy” users on April 1, which refers to around 400,000 accounts largely controlled by figures like celebrities, businesses and members of the media that were verified before Musk bought the company.

Musk also announced Monday that only verified accounts will be able to vote in future polls.

Twitter in January made the For You tab the default timeline users see when they launch the platform, containing a combination of accounts users follow and tweets the company claims to promote based on a users’ interests—but shifted in February to let users see a chronological timeline upon opening the Twitter app or website if they choose following complaints.

It is not clear how Twitter determines what tweets show up in a users’ For You section. Musk named publicly releasing Twitter’s algorithm a top priority before he bought the company, but he has not done so thus far.

Musk claimed Monday the forthcoming change to For You is being done to combat fake and spam accounts, tweeting it’s “the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle.” The billionaire has made boosting the number of Twitter Blue subscriptions a top priority for the company’s financial future, reportedly warning Twitter’s staff in November the company could go bankrupt “Without significant subscription revenue.” The once-coveted blue verification check has been his top selling point for Twitter Blue, which was initially offered in the U.S. for $8 a month before the price was dropped to $7 for its worldwide launch last week.

Actor William Shatner has had an ongoing back-and-forth with Musk over Twitter’s subscription model after the 92-year-old Star Trek icon asked Musk on Saturday: “Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free?” Musk then asserted the move is “about treating everyone equally,” adding, “There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities.” Shatner on Tuesday called Twitter’s paid verification model a “money grab.”

Twitter’s ‘For You’ Page Will Be Mostly Restricted To Tweets From Paying Subscribers Under Upcoming Changes (Forbes)

Musk Tells Staff Twitter Could Go Bankrupt Without Financial Turnaround, Reports Say (Forbes)

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