Charging $20 dollar monthly for Twitter accounts verification will aid fake news – Experts

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Nigeria communication experts have disclosed that the alleged move to charge $20 dollar fees on Twitter account verification would aid fake news.

DAILY POST earlier reported that a few days after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter management in a record $44b dollar deal, the platform is eyeing $20 per month subscription fees for its verified badge.

The report added that Twitter’s verified users would have 90 days to subscribe or lose their blue checkmark under the proposed new policy.

The development has continued to generate buzz across the world.

Speaking to DAILY POST in a chat on Tuesday, the strategic communications manager, Accountability Lab Nigeria, Suleiman Murkthar and the Editor of News Digest, Gidado Shuaib said the move could water down the whole idea of combating fake news.

On his part, Murkthar said if the proposal comes to light, free speech might be hindered.

According to him, “I am thinking the current management of Twitter being a capitalist-driven system is thinking of how they can milk some crop of people with verification. But that would impede the whole idea of combatting fake news which is the alter ego of free speech

“Because depending on what the T’s and C’s would be, then anyone can buy verification for anything. And people who should champion things better may not want to opt for the payment plan.

Meanwhile, Gidabo explained that such a move may be targeted at big brands.

However, he noted that if the move would include Journalists, media houses other related professionals, it is bad for free speech.

He also lamented that the majority of Nigerians cannot afford the said amount owing to the rising Dollar rate against Naira.

“I think it is just for big brands, mostly people who are verified are people who are recognised in the community.

“If he’s saying he will be charging only on big brands, I think it is justifiable and a way to source income for the platform. But telling journalists, and comrades using the platform to push for social change, accountability you could say such a move will hamper free speech. We are looking forward to knowing in the coming days, the terms and conditions that will come with this payment.

“For instance, telling a typical Nigerian to come and pay $20 every month for a Twitter verified badge in a country where we are seeing the rising Dollar against the Naira, is going to be unfortunate.

“I think the development will affect the media as a whole but at the same time it will create an opportunity for rethinking”, he stated.

Twitter’s sole director Elon Musk has been making drastic changes to the platform since he bought it.