Live blog: Twitter chaos – what’s going on?

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An illustration of Elon Musk drawn by thongyhod looking perplexed at falling Twitter logos

(Image credit: Shutterstock / thongyhod / Twitter)

After a protracted process, where the world's richest man tried to pull out numerous times, Elon Musk finally purchased Twitter for a huge $44 billion on October 28.

Anyone keeping up with Musk's on again, off again Twitter purchase would be forgiven for thinking that with it being finalized that would be the end of the drama.

In fact, it was just the start. In the two weeks since Musk bought Twitter there have been mass layoffs, high-profile departures, an exodus of users and advertisers and features that have been dumped as quickly as they were added.

It's hard to keep up with it all, so we've fired up this live blog to keep you updated with what's happening with the social media network, and to try figure out what's happening and what it means for Twitter users the world over.

Perhaps the most controversial thing to come from Musk's Twitter takeover has been the changes to how accounts are verified. 

Previously, if the verified account of a media outlet (such as TechRadar) or other organization published something, you would at least know that it came from an official source. The Blue Check also enabled Twitter users to tell the difference between the many celebrities on Twitter and users who were imitating them.

However, Musk implemented a change that would allow anyone to get verified for $8 a month.

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This led to some people worrying that users could pretend to be official accounts and get easily verified, making it hard for people to tell which accounts were real – and which weren't. And that's exactly what happened.

Despite the concerns and complaints, Musk was initially dismissive.

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By posting memes about people's complaints, it left many people feeling that he wasn't exactly taking the issue seriously.

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However, as people predicted, verified accounts started popping up on Twitter, and while many of them were obviously parodies, because they had the 'Blue Tick', it became difficult to tell, especially with the more subtle accounts.

Unsurprisingly, the individuals and companies that were being parodied weren't too happy about this. 

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Worryingly for Twitter, many brands started to announce that they would no longer advertise on the platform.

Musk himself fell victim to this, with countless fake accounts popping up claiming to be him – and with a Blue Tick to prove it. This seemed to be the final straw, as Musk then backtracked on some of the more lax elements of the new verification process.

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Here's an example of how hard some of these fake accounts are to spot:

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So, almost inevitably, it seems the Blue Tick verification process has been canned.

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As the tweet above states, the chaos continues – hence why we've started this live blog. What is going on?

Elon Musk at 2022 Met Gala

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let's recap:

On October 30, Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of Space X, CEO of Tesla, finally took charge of Twitter after a long-winded buyout of the platform.

In under a month, we've seen the verification process become irrelevant and confusing due to the subscription service, Twitter Blue being able to grant any user a blue tick, and there's also been a huge firing of staff.

On November 11, Twitter Blue was removed entirely, and there's been silence from Musk since.

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Here's our US Editor-in-Chief Lance Ulanoff showing his very first tweet back in 2007.

As it includes a bagel, it's already a great tweet in my book. The next question for me is, could his final tweet include a bagel to round it off?

Worrying about Twitter

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Let's be clear – there's not going to be a replacement for Twitter. Nothing really can be, but there are potential alternatives.

With this in mind, we've got three for you to consider.

The top image shows what an Actually Verified account looks like, while the bottom shows you what a Paid for Verification account looks like

(Image credit: Wseagar / Eight-Dollars)

An interesting read by Hamish Hector here – there's a Chrome extension where it will tell you if a user has been verified with a blue tick, or if they've gained one by signing up to Twitter Blue when it was live.

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So where do we stand so far?

Musk has yet to react to any development to Twitter today, which is surprising. The above is, at the time of posting this, his latest tweet.

However, we've noticed a small change with the ticks, where it's also blue when you're in dark mode on the site.

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Our (fantastic) Computing writer Muskaan Saxena sent me this tweet, and it's a great analogy for how users are feeling on Twitter.

A mad iceberg in the shape of the Twitter bird is quite the image.

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Another one that was sent to me from Muskaan, this tweet shows how broken the verification system under Twitter Blue was. One is the genuine Apple TV Plus account, another is a fake one.

Hopefully we'll see a reversal of this, as it's already confusing to tell which one is real or fake for many users.

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Zoë Schiffer, writer at Platformer, tweeted the above that a message was posted in the Twitter Slack, that confirmed the end of Twitter Blue and paid blue ticks in order to stop the impersonations, but any existing subscriptions to the service will carry on as usual.

Lance Ulanoff materializes

(Image credit: Future)

Our US Editor-In-Chief Lance Ulanoff sent us this which reads as though he's saying farewell to Twitter:

“I’ve met some of the coolest people on Twitter. I’ve interacted with my idols and icons and made true friends. Twitter has always worked the way my brain works – in bite-sized pieces. Honestly not sure how I’ll maintain certain friendships and connections or where I’ll post random thoughts that make me happy without it. Please, Microsoft, buy Twitter.”

Mastodon apps on iOS and Android

(Image credit: TechRadar)

If you've heard of Mastodon this week, you're not alone. Luckily, I've been trying it out lately and it's a great alternative. There are a couple of apps you can use right now on iOS and Android if you've already signed up to Mastodon as well.

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