Twitter on Thursday halted its rollout of a paid subscription that allows users to buy blue verification check marks after fake accounts spread, The Washington Post reports.
Musk has hyped the $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription that allows users to buy verification check marks without providing any identification.
The company rolled out the new accounts this week, prompting a large number of fake accounts pretending to be brands and celebrities — and Musk himself — to spread fake statements.
Twitter told employees on Thursday that it will temporarily disable sign-ups to “help address impersonation issues.”
Twitter has been a mess since Musk completed his $44 billion takeover. Many top executives have resigned and the company laid off half of its 7,500 staff members.
Advertisers have fled out of concern that the new Twitter could damage their brands.
Musk floats bankruptcy:
Musk held an all-hands meeting this week where he told employees that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question,” The Guardian reported.
But Musk is still focused on the $8 offering.
“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” Musk said in an email to employees. “We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription.”
The announcement came on the same day that Lea Kissner, the chief information security officer, Damien Kieran, the chief privacy officer, and Marianne Fogarty, the top compliance officer, resigned.
The Federal Trade Commission warned that it is monitoring the situation at Twitter.
“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” the agency said, adding that “no CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees.”
President Joe Biden also said that Musk’s foreign ties to Saudi Arabia and China are worthy of scrutiny.
“I think that Elon Musk’s cooperation and or technical relationships with other countries is worthy of being looked at,” Biden said. “Whether he is doing anything inappropriate — I’m suggesting that — I’m suggesting that it’s worth being looked at.”