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Friday, December 9, 2022

Opinion

Twitter Blue is spreading disinformation, concerns over safety


Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

Twitter Blue has created more problems for the social media app as users take advantage of the verified check and Elon Musk continues to implement changes. 

One of the main perks of Twitter Blue is the verified blue check mark that is known to be a symbol of reliability and trust in the app. 

Before Twitter Blue, the verified blue check mark required a rigorous series of qualifications to verify a user. 

Now, however, anyone with $8 to spare could become verified on Twitter. 

The issue with Twitter Blue is that people already do not fact-check their sources nor do they take the time to double-check the media they’re consuming. To elaborate, during the pandemic, only three out of 10 Americans felt confident in their ability to fact-check news about COVID-19. 

To add on, Twitter Blue becoming available during a very competitive election season arises questions about Elon Musk’s intention with the new feature. With a third of tweets from American adults mentioning politics, there is no doubt that Twitter plays a major role in spreading political messages and campaigns. 

With that in mind, Twitter Blue was suspended a few days later after its launch as people began impersonating big-name companies and individuals to spread disinformation at lightning speed. 

One of the notable companies affected by this impersonation crisis is the pharmaceutical company, Eli Lilly. An impersonator account tweeted a simple “we are excited to announce insulin is free now” which led to chaos on the web. 

From this simple tweet, the company managed to lose billions in stock overnight. 

Aside from company losses, users are now starting to become worried about Twitter’s security risks. 

Several executives of Twitter whose job was to protect users’ safety and personal information have resigned after Elon Musk implemented layoffs at the company. 

Yoel Roth, who resigned from his position of head of trust and safety, attempted to provide reassurances to the public that hateful content will stay off the app, however, the Federal Trade Commission has already expressed their concern of Elon Musk’s executive decisions. 

Twitter is rapidly changing and as one of the world’s biggest social media app, this is concerning.

There have already been concerns about Elon Musk taking over Twitter as he has constantly praised free speech which has just become a code name for him and his followers to spread hate speech without consequences. 

It is clear that the consequences of Elon Musk’s control over Twitter have already begun to show and the billionaire should take a step back and realize the damage he has caused to not only the social media app but the public as a whole. 

Twitter Blue was a disaster and any following implementations made by Elon Musk will only cause more chaos to the already crumbling social media app.

Cindy Rivas Alfaro is a sophomore journalism major who can be reached at [email protected]

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