Twitter is delaying the rollout of account verifications for its Twitter Blue paid subscription plan until after the midterm elections, a source with knowledge of the decision confirmed to CNN.
The decision to push back the new feature comes a day after the platform launched an updated version of its iOS app which promises to allow users paying a monthly subscription to get a blue tick on their profile, a feature offered by the CEO Elon Musk. as a means of combating spam on the platform.
The app’s latest update was shown on Apple’s App Store, stating that users will now have to pay $7.99 per month for the company’s Twitter Blue verification feature, “just like celebrities, businesses and politicians you already follow”. The check mark has long been used to confirm the authenticity of government officials, public figures and journalists.
Testing of the service by CNN on Saturday afternoon suggested the rollout was not yet complete before Sunday’s decision. A new Twitter account created by CNN that opted in to the paid feature did not display the check mark on its public profile. Twitter also seemed to still charge $4.99, an outdated price.
The decision to delay the rollout comes as the whole decision to charge users for verification has been the subject of widespread public backlash. In a show of defiance, some celebrities on the platform impersonated Musk over the weekend and revealed a potential loophole in the “Blue Check” system.
Comedian Sarah Silverman used her verified account to troll Musk, copying his profile picture, cover and name. The only thing that distinguished a tweet from Silverman’s account was the @SarahKSilverman manipulate.
“I’m a free speech absolutist and I eat doody for breakfast every day,” Silverman tweeted Saturday. His account also retweeted posts supporting Democratic candidates.
Silverman’s account was labeled as “temporarily restricted” on Sunday, with a warning that “there has been unusual activity from this account” shown to visitors before clicking on the profile. The actress then restored her account to its usual form, with her own name and her own image.
After changing his profile name to Musk, Bertinelli tweeted and retweeted his support for several Democratic candidates and hashtags, including “VoteBlueForDemocracy” and “#VoteBlueIn2022.”
The actress changed her account name to Valérie Bertinelli on Sunday, Tweeter“[o]key-dokey I had a good time and I think I made my point.
The trolling activity comes after Musk bought the company and pledged to restore the accounts of previously banned users from the platform, including former President Donald Trump. Musk also said he would limit the company’s content restrictions and require the paid subscription for account verification.
In recent months, Musk has shared conspiracy theories about the attack on Paul Pelosi, called The Democrats, the party of “division and hatred”, compared The former CEO of Twitter to Joseph Stalin and warned that “the awakened mind virus will destroy civilization”.
CNN’s Brian Fung and Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report.