Twitter adds 'official' labels to select verified accounts – then reverses course

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Twitter's gray "official" labels for high-profile verified accounts was apparently short-lived.

The social media giant announced the additions on Tuesday, which were supposed to designate whether the company had verified the authenticity of an account.

Changes were already showing up on Wednesday morning, with several celebrity and media accounts sporting an "official" label, as well as a blue verified badge. 

However, just hours after launching the feature, Twitter chief Elon Musk said he was getting rid of it. 

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"I just killed it," Musk tweeted in response to a user who posted that their official label had been removed, later writing that: "Blue check will be the great leveler."

In a separate tweet, Musk said that "Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months," keeping what works and changing what does not.

The labels were used to distinguish accounts between those who have subscribed to Twitter Blue and those who have been authenticated by Twitter.

The site's "blue checks" are expected to soon go away for users who don't pay $8 a month for the service.

Twitter app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration) (Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File Photo / Reuters Photos)

The fee will include several other features, like the ability to have tweets given greater visibility than those coming from non-subscribers and fewer ads.

Direct of Product Management Esther Crawford, who leads early-stage bets, wrote in a thread on Tuesday that people had been asking about how to distinguish between Twitter Blue service subscribers and accounts that are verified as official, which is why the company was introducing the labels. 

Twitter headquarters stands on 10th Street on November 4, 2022, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by David Odisho/Getty Images) ((Photo by David Odisho/Getty Images) / Getty Images)

"Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘official’ label and the label is not available for purchase," she said. "Accounts that will receive it include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures."

The new Twitter Blue does not include ID verification and Crawford said Twitter would continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types.

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Twitter's prior verification system was in place since 2009. 

A blue verification check on the page of Twitter Inc. on a smartphone arranged in the Brooklyn borough of New York, US, on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. (Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

It was created to ensure that high-profile and public-facing accounts are who they say they are.

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There are about 423,000 verified accounts under the outgoing system.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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