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Daily Authority: 🐦 Twitter puts a price on vanity

Decoding Twitter's new paid verification system, a unique concept phone, Motorola's next flagship, and more tech news.

Published onNovember 2, 2022

Twitter stock photos 15
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

🐦 Good Morning, dear Daily Authority readers. I woke up a few hours ago to experience yet another pitfall of social media culture. I’m going to talk about it in just a bit, but for now, I am seriously rethinking my existence on certain cult platforms. Maybe it’s finally time to get out of the cesspool.

Twitter sets a price on vanity

Twitter stock photos 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Elon Musk is changing the way Twitter’s 13-year-old verification technique works. What was once a status symbol and a sure-fire way to differentiate unauthorized accounts from genuine ones is now becoming an open-for-all paid feature anyone can use and abuse. Here’s why I think there are several things wrong with Musk’s new approach, even though it hasn’t taken effect till now.

The current status

  • It’s common knowledge that a blue checkmark against a Twitter username ensures that the account is actually owned by that person or organization.
  • The current requirements for a verified account include authenticity, notability, and activity. These attributes can only be claimed by specific organizations and people.
  • Certain accounts, like unofficial fan accounts, parody accounts, hateful accounts, accounts for cats and dogs, etc, aren’t eligible for Twitter verification.
  • Musk is throwing all these criteria out the window with the new $8/month Twitter Blue subscription that’ll include a verified badge for anyone willing to pay.

The problems

  • Musk called the current verification regimen a “lords and peasants” system, and in a way, he’s right.
  • The verified checkmark is a status symbol for many who like to throw their weight around on the platform, including Musk himself.
  • Opening up verification for everyone strips that authority, warranted or not, from current verified users. So what’s even the point of getting verified anymore when it’ll give users no real authority or authenticity?
  • The bigger issue is what happens if those with malicious intentions pay for a verified account and pose as somebody else. According to Musk, it’s already happening very frequently.
  • That means the Twitter CEO is washing his hands of the problem.
  • I personally had the experience of almost getting duped by a fake account on Twitter.
  • The profile in question was posing as a reputed bank, my bank, and asked me to call a number for some support services I was looking for on the platform.
  • It was only when I saw that the account wasn’t a verified one that I realized I was almost about to interact with folks running a phishing scam.
  • Who’s to stop this kind of activity now that all accounts can become verified accounts on Twitter?

An exercise in self-destruction

  • As The Washington Post correctly points out, Twitter would essentially be doing the opposite of what other social networks are doing ahead of the midterm elections.
  • TikTok, for instance, made it a rule that politicians need to be verified to avoid impersonation.
  • This could lead to more damaging misinformation on the site and ultimately result in an exodus of long-term, loyal Twitter users.
  • So while Musk’s newly acquired firm might make some money, it could ultimately be a costly venture for the company.

🎵 And while we’re on streaming apps, Prime membership now has entire ad-free Music Unlimited library with a big catch (Android Authority).

Wednesday Weirdness

Folks at Ars Technica have written about a team of scientists that captured the unique attack methods of cannibalistic mosquito larvae on high-speed video. The clips reveal how the larvae capture their prey with lightning-fast strikes. It’s super weird and creepy at the same time.

cannibalistic mosquito larvae
R.G. Hancock et al., 2022 via Ars Technica
  • Yup, some mosquito larvae feed on other insects, including the larvae of other mosquitos.
  • They are different from most other mosquito larvae that feed on algae or bacteria.
  • Robert Hancock, a biologist at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, and his team focused on three species of mosquito larvae for their experiments.
  • The researchers induced the attacks by placing the predatory larvae onto slides with water and presenting live prey larvae with a jeweler’s forceps.
  • The behavior was captured on video using high-speed microcinematography.

On that note, have a mosquito-free day,

Adamya Sharma, Editor.

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