Gold checkmarks are Twitter’s newest verification distinction, and they’ll cost $12k a year to any business that wants one.

Twitter established their blue checkmarks in 2009, as a quick way for readers to know if the twitter handle they were using belonged to an actual recognizable name, or an impersonator. They came about after Twitter was unsuccessfully sued by Tony la Russa over an impersonator’s account (which, while completely legal, can cross lines into defamation or libel).

After Elon Musk’s forced purchase of Twitter in October, 2022, the company attempted to change the free verification process to a subscription that wold cost $19.99 a month. Backlash, including a personal roast from author Stephen King, convinced Musk to roll that price back to $8 a month, which began rollout on day after the 2022 elections. Abuse of the new subscription, which only really verified that the account-holder owned a credit card, led to them being disabled two days later.

Since then, the verification subscriptions have gone through a few iterations. Gold checkmarks were introduced, meant to indicate that an account had been proven to belong to the business it represented. Now, only two months after the gold checkmarks were introduced, a report has leaked that any company wishing to remain verified will be billed $1000 a month for the privilege, and an extra $50 for any affiliated screen-name they register, such as individual twitters for branches, employees, or executives.

“If you’d like to subscribe, Verified for Organizations is $1000 per month, and $50 per additional affiliated handle per month with one month of free affiliations,” reads an email sent to one business.

Small businesses, obviously, cannot afford $12k a year for social media, making this another way billionaires are working to give large companies advantage over small.

Business analysts have suggested this is another attempt by Elon Musk to make Twitter profitable again after his antics have driven away thousands of advertisers.

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