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Twitter started rolling out a controversial new paid subscription system on Saturday that the social community’s unpredictable new proprietor, billionaire Elon Musk, ordered employees to construct after taking on final week.
Days into the Tesla boss’s stewardship of one of many world’s main speech and activism platforms, his guarantees and taunts are prompting a wave of backlash, together with warnings from the United Nations and an apology from Twitter’s co-founder.
His plan to cut back content material moderation on the positioning is inflicting a lot concern that UN human rights chief Volker Turk urged him on Saturday to make respect for human rights central to the social community.
“Twitter has a duty to forestall the amplification of content material that leads to hurt to individuals’s rights,” Turk stated in his open letter.
Studies that Musk fired the platform’s complete human rights workforce have been “not, from my perspective, an encouraging begin,” he stated.
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded Twitter in 2006 and stepped down as CEO final yr, tweeted to apologize for rising the positioning too shortly a day after Musk laid off about half of the corporate’s 7,500 staff.
“I notice that many are indignant with me,” he wrote.
The remaining staff are witnessing a change of their firm tradition. Final Friday, Musk launched his first flagship undertaking, the redesign of the Twitter Blue subscription choice.
He reportedly instructed his workforce that the redesign should be prepared for potential activation by November 7, the day earlier than the US midterm elections, or their jobs can be at stake.
– ‘Dash’ to launch –
On Saturday, the platform’s cell app started providing an replace that may enable customers to join the brand new model of Twitter Blue, which Musk says will price $8 a month, and is about to present customers a blue checkmark and Benefits comparable to much less promoting. of their feedings.
“Beginning right this moment, we’re including nice new options to Twitter Blue,” the replace says, solely on iPhones for now. “Get Twitter Blue for $7.99 a month when you join now.”
In a tweet, the California-based firm’s director of product improvement, Esther Crawford, specified that the brand new service had not but launched.
“The brand new Blue just isn’t out there but – the dash in direction of our launch continues, however some individuals may even see us making updates as a result of we’re testing and pushing adjustments in actual time,” he posted.
The present model of the service, which prices $5, accommodates premium options, comparable to a extra comfy studying mode.
Musk desires so as to add a blue tick that has till now symbolized account verification, though he has not defined how cost accounts can be verified.
Verification has been free and serves as proof of authenticity for person accounts comparable to governments, journalists, celebrities and sports activities figures, a system put in place to forestall disinformation however which Musk has ridiculed as “lords & peasants.”
The replace additionally lists different advantages Musk talked about, comparable to the flexibility to put up longer movies and audio messages, and fewer adverts.
– Suspended promoting funding –
The California-based firm must diversify its income, which depends closely on promoting.
And with issues that Musk’s adjustments to content material moderation will flood the positioning with hate speech and misinformation, a number of advertisers have suspended spending on the platform since he purchased it.
Musk has insisted that content material moderation stays a precedence, that the foundations haven’t modified, and that he would create a council devoted to this activity.
However he additionally blamed “activist teams” for placing stress on advertisers.
“We did all the things we may to appease the activists. Extraordinarily messy! They’re making an attempt to destroy free speech in America,” he tweeted on Friday.
The social community is shedding greater than $4 million a day, he stated, to justify the layoffs.
He promised on Saturday that Twitter would evolve, with extra handy instruments for sharing and looking, and methods for creators to monetize content material.