Elon Musk’s decision to charge for the blue badge indicating a person is who they say they are on Twitter (TWTR) continues to make headlines.
After various personalities, including the writer of science fiction and horror novels Stephen King, it is the turn of the icon of the liberal left to blast the measure.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y, slammed the Nov. 2 decisions with a quip.
“Lmao at a billionaire earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually a $8/mo subscription plan,” AOC, as she is usually referred to, posted on Twitter on November 1.
Musk let 24 hours pass to respond. And the answer is scathing.
“Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8,” the billionaire responded.
What caused this new skirmish between Musk and AOC is the fact that Twitter will soon start charging for blue badges showing that an account has been verified. Basically the person is who they say they are. This blue badge was previously free. This will now be part of a monthly subscription of $8 per month which gives subscribers other benefits.
Blue badges, used mostly by brands, governments, celebrities or journalists, will be part of the paid features starting next week. Blue subscribers will also have priority in replies, mentions & search, ability to post long video and audio, and half as many ads, the billionaire said.
Individuals and institutions whose accounts are currently verified will have a grace period before deciding whether or not to pay.
Musk also posted what seems like a screenshot of a sweatshirt on AOC’s website that costs $58, an attempt to defend his new Twitter verification service fee.
AOC replied a few hours later.
“One guy’s business plan for a $44 billion over-leveraged purchase is apparently to run around and individually ask people for $8,” she quipped. “Remember that next time you question yourself or your qualifications.”
After this post, AOC indicates that her notifications have stopped working, suggesting that she has been partially censored because she challenged the billionaire who describes himself as a “free speech absolutist.”
“Also my Twitter mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working tonight, so I was informed via text that I seem to have gotten under a certain billionaire’s skin,” the lawmaker claimed.
“Just a reminder that money will never by your way out of insecurity, folks,” she added.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request from TheStreet.
Musk also did not respond to AOC’s latest posts.
It must be said that the billionaire has been on the defensive since his decision to charge for the blue badge. He explains that this decision will also make it possible to fight against spam bots, aka fake accounts, which are a plague on Twitter.
Musk explained that the financial cost should discourage entities and people running bot farms that regularly spread social media misinformation and misinformation and hate speech.
“Essentially, this raises the cost of crime on Twitter by several orders of magnitude,” Musk said on Nov. 1.
However, Musk’s critics believe there was another way to ensure that the person behind an account is not a bot.
Musk, who bought Twitter for a hefty price of $44 billion after a long battle with the group, has already reiterated that the social network will remain free for most users.