The blue check marks that verified the identities of prolific Twitter commentators, including William Shatner and Monica Lewinsky, may soon be removed unless they pay up to $11 per month for Twitter’s premium service. Twitter’s CEO, Elon Musk, has claimed that the verification marks have become a “corrupt” status symbol for some elite personalities and journalists, and is pushing users to pay for a premium subscription to drive revenue. The verification marks were introduced to identify politicians and those in the news, as well as journalists at small publications, in order to prevent impersonation and misinformation. Alex Howard, director of the Digital Democracy Project, has expressed concern that impersonators could use the platform to spread unfounded rumours and conspiracies.

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