You Can Now Filter Verified-Only Replies With X’s New Feature

Elon Musk taking over the platform now known as X, once as Twitter, showed the digital community a series of feature changes. The platform introduced paid verification, allowing users to flash a blue tick, a conventional symbol of status and authenticity, in exchange for a subscription fee.

This change did not address the issues that have been affecting the platform for years, such as spam, scams, and bots. These continue to affect online interactions and the way information is spread.

The Issue of Free Speech Versus Free Speech

Musk’s changes have sent different responses through X’s global user base, with many viewing the introduction of the X Premium subscription service as a mechanism that does more to harm free discourse than promote it.

One huge change is the ability for users to allow only other verified users to reply to their posts. Critics argue that this merely intensifies the existing digital divide, allowing a skewed, elite discourse to dominate and potentially propagate misinformation unchecked.

Darkened Discussions

The recent decision to obliterate headlines from posts, therefore displaying only the poster’s view on linked content, has been met with substantial apprehension. Critics express concerns that this amplifies the potential for misinformation dissemination and malicious content promotion, as unverified narratives can be presented without context or counterargument.


Scandals and Subscriptions

The credibility of the blue tick verification has been subject to scrutiny. Numerous instances of scammers and bots possessing verified status have emerged, prompting users to question the efficacy and reliability of the paid verification system.

The digital space, once referred to as an ‘online town square,’ is changing into a secluded, members-only enclave where discourse is dictated by those who can afford to pay.

A Dying User Base

Since the inception of X, daily active users have reportedly been dwindling, and accusations regarding the platform’s lack of control over hate speech, disinformation, and spam are relentless. Despite these worrying trends, the financial trajectory of X remains somewhat opaque, with X’s CEO reporting “high-single digit revenue growth” in Q3, although comprehensive financial details remain undisclosed.

User’s Plight: Is Safety a Mirage?

The recent shift to allow limiting replies to verified users only ostensibly aims to bolster digital safety and minimise the propagation of spam and misinformation. Yet, critics argue that it is a thinly-veiled attempt to mute voices and orchestrate a narrative dominated by those who possess the financial means to secure verification. The move has intensified global conversations regarding digital inclusivity, transparency, and the ethical responsibilities of digital platforms.

Debating the Digital Divide

This digital divide is exacerbated by instances of unresolved issues with spam and bot accounts, and allegations of amplified disinformation and malicious content have proliferated. X’s decision to remove headlines displayed alongside linked articles means that users encounter only the poster’s perspective, with critics warning this could inadvertently fuel the spread of unverified and potentially harmful information.

Are Changes Serving Profits Over People?

During these controversies, Musk’s maneuvers have been interpreted by some as attempts to amplify profits or embellish platform statistics. Strategies like removing post headlines to display more posts per screen and thereby artificially boost user engagement statistics have left users and critics alike curious. While these tactics might appeal to advertisers by ostensibly retaining user attention on the platform, they also intensify existing concerns regarding information accuracy and user exploitation.

Bleak Financial Recovery

Though statistical shimmers of financial recovery have been presented, with reports of revenue growth in recent quarters, X’s financial health remains a topic of debate and speculation. Ad revenue has plummeted, and brands are increasingly distancing themselves from a platform now notorious for hosting contentious content and disinformation.

X’s interface and overall user experience under Musk’s ownership has changed for sure, raising many questions surrounding online ethics, information accuracy, and free speech on the internet. The effectiveness of the platform’s strategies, both in terms of user experience and financial sustainability, will likely continue to be a constant topic of discussions in both the digital and financial worlds. Seemingly, we continue to wait for the next X feature changes.