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Turkish President Erdoğan Says He May Negotiate Charge for Twitter Blue Check With Elon Musk

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he may negotiate with Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk to avoid paying the monthly $8 charge (roughly Rs. 660) for the “verified” badge.

After buying Twitter for $44 billion (roughly Rs. 3,63,500 crore) last week, Musk said the company will charge $8 a month for its Blue service, which includes the sought-after blue check mark.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV on Wednesday, Erdoğan said he may speak to Musk and discuss the charge.

“It might be different for us,” Erdoğan said, when asked about the new charge for the blue check. “We could carry out some diplomacy with him as well,” he added jokingly.

A blue check mark next to a person’s user name on the social media platform means Twitter has confirmed that the account belongs to the person or company claiming it. Twitter is currently free for most users.

Billionaire Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last week.

More than 80 percent of Twitter users who took part in a recent poll said they would not pay for the checkmark. Some 10 percent said they were willing to pay $5 (roughly Rs. 410) a month.

Musk said on Tuesday subscribers with blue check marks would get priority in replies, mentions and search and would be able to post longer videos and audios. They would see half as many ads.

He also offered subscribers a paywall bypass from “publishers willing to work with us.”

Amid speculation that Twitter may soon start charging verified users a monthly fee of $20 (roughly Rs. 1,700) for blue ticks, bestselling author Stephen King tweeted: “If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.”

Separately, S&P Global Ratings downgraded Twitter to B- on “significant” debt increase following the acquisition.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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