Despite an increase in bugs and confusion over the status of its “blue check” verified user regime, popular microblogging platform Twitter has continued to attract new netizens, according to owner Elon Musk.
“Twitter added 1.6M daily active users this past week, another all-time high,” Musk said on Monday, Nov. 21.
Musk, noted for his electric vehicles and space rockets, has overseen an ambitious reform of Twitter since closing a $44-billion deal on Oct. 27, firing much of the management and staff to rebuild the company according to his own vision to prioritize free speech.
Soon after the takeover, Twitter made its “blue check” status available to any user willing to pay $8, something that became the subject of popular — mostly right-wing — memes mocking the check’s previous value as a prestige symbol among “verified” users.
The option was frozen after users started to impersonate famous figures and organizations, such as when a user called @LockheedMartini parodied the defense contractor Lockheed Martin by claiming that it would stop “all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States until further investigation into their record of human rights abuses.”
Elon Musk said on Monday the social media company is holding off the relaunch of its blue check subscription service, a delay from his initial tentative timeline to bring back the service on the platform.
“Holding off relaunch of Blue Verified until there is high confidence of stopping impersonation,” Musk said in a tweet. “Will probably use different color check for organizations than individuals” he added.
The shakeups at Twitter prompted many major advertisers to pull out of the company, while media pundits proclaimed the social media platform’s imminent downfall.
“Wasn’t Twitter supposed to die by now or something … ?” Musk, who is the world’s wealthiest man, tweeted the day after noting the increase in members.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 19 former U.S. President Donald Trump was unbanned from Twitter after a public poll that Musk conducted asking the site’s users whether or not they wanted to “reinstate” the Republican populist.
Trump had previously been kicked off Twitter after the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol amidst protests surrounding the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Soon after his unbanning, the former president quickly regained his 86 million Twitter followers as well.
Many other prominent right-wing figures who were banned from Twitter under the previous management have also been rehabilitated, including Project Veritas, known for its undercover “candid camera” reporting.