Twitter appeared to take away verified check marks from Taliban accounts that purchased them.
In the past, Twitter only provided the “verified” marks to groups that were “active, notable and authentic accounts of public interest,” according to The Guardian. However, Elon Musk’s new plan has been to allow people to pay money for the check marks. The Twitter Blue verification system, outlined in December, costs $8 each month, with a greater price of $11 charged to people who use the social media app on Apple electronic devices.
It is a way to “get priority ranking in search, mentions, and replies to help lower the visibility of scams, spam and bots,” according to Twitter.
Twitter also clarifies that a blue check could mean that “the account has an active subscription to the new Twitter Blue subscription service and has met our eligibility criteria,” or “the account was previously verified under the legacy verification criteria.”
The system was re-launched in December, but the first introduction had been unsuccessful after people tried to pose as organizations or political figures. Musk then paused the verification plan in order to make sure that such issues wouldn’t come up again in the future.
As of Monday, the accounts for the leader of the Taliban’s department for “access to information,” Hedayatullah Hedayat, and its top media watchdog at the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, Abdul Haq Hammad, each had blue marks. Four other major backers of the terrorist group also were utilizing the verification markers. Last month, Hammad’s blue check mark was taken off, local media reportedly noted, but it was back.
The BBC reported on the fact that the Taliban members were utilizing the method of buying the verification. The terrorist group also took control of verified Twitter accounts that had been used by the prior administration.
After the report came out, it appeared as if Twitter stopped the blue check subscriptions for the members of the Taliban. On Tuesday, Hedayat’s and Hammad’s Twitter accounts didn’t have the blue check marks anymore. It wasn’t entirely obvious what had caused the blue check marks to no longer be on the accounts.
Musk has taken to keeping some users off the platform, while allowing others to come back on after he took over control of the company. The Babylon Bee was kicked off of the platform for making the joke that its “Man Of The Year” award was going to Rachel Levine, a biological male who is the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
At the time, Twitter said in a statement regarding The Babylon Bee, “The account you referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our hateful conduct policy. The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account.”
The Bablyon Bee was put back on Twitter after Musk took over.