A recent thread of tweets from Elon Musk has brought to light a pay-to-play scheme involving Twitter verification badges.
Twitter verification badges are coveted status symbols. They enable verified users to interact almost entirely with other verified users through a special response tab. Musk stated that the system for awarding these badges was so flawed that anyone could buy it from a third-party.
In reply to Elon’s tweet, a user alleged that Twitter employees were selling verification for around $15,000. They claimed that, for certain accounts, Twitter would refuse to verify them through the standard application process and instead offer to do it privately for an exorbitant fee.
Twitter’s new CEO confirmed this allegation, saying “yup” in agreement. This comes after Elon Musk fired half of the social platform’s staff just a day earlier and vowed to sell verification for $8.
If an investigation finds that a pay-to-play scheme exists at the company, it is unknown what punishments current or former Twitter employees could be subject to in the future.