Elon Musk’s behavior since he officially entered the Twitter building on October 26th has been rather… interesting to watch. Unfortunately, brands cannot just sitdown and watch as the changes can have serious impact on their businesses.
For years the blue checkmark has served as a glanceable indicator that the twitter account was certified legitimate. Though Twitter’s former management kept the criteria of attribution rather opaque, even casual users implicitly understood that posts coming from a twitter handle (the famous @<Brand>) containing a brandname and bearing a blue checkmark were official.
Unfortunately, as part of its new business model Twitter decided to allow anyone paying a $8 fee to attach a blue checkmark to their accounts. Predictably several users took this as an opportunity to make fun of both twitter and some major brands (see below).
Things could have been much worse if bad actors had used the same scheme to mislead users of the social network to phishing sites or counterfeit products. Worst still, even though the launch of the new “feature” was hastily postponed by a few weeks after such embarrassing cases, it has been fully relaunched on December 12th.
Admittedly, the criteria to get the blue checkmark are more strict but, as recently reported by the Washington Post anyone can meet them:
Given the audience that Twitter (still) has, usurping a blue check to spread fake news can have significant economic consequences, either to attract users to fake sites or counterfeit products, or to try and influence the stock market, as in the recent Eli Lilly case.
Making matters even more complicated, Elon Musk has announced that companies would soon be able to use gold checkmarks replacing blue checkmarks for companies, blue being left to individuals.
The announcement is quite vague, without an actual launch date nor a list of criteria to benefit from the gold checkmark. Moreover, it once again hinges on the ability of casual Internet users to know about the yet-to-be implemented distinction, and to remember it every time they read a tweet!
Even if users end up following the right account, they may be troubled by what they see next to it. Twitter’s business model relies heavily on ads and most of the moderation team that oversaw and removed inflammatory content was part of the layoffs that happened at the end of 2022. Reportedly, some team members were also let go as recently as January 6th.
Layoffs include members of the team handling hate speech and harassment, at a time when brands have already reduced their ad spending on the network, by fear of being associated with unsavory content. In part due to this gutting of the moderation teams, some experts have recently called Twitter "a breeding ground for misinformation", all the while Talibans dignitaries have proudly worn the blue check, before Twitter's intervention Advertising associations have also recommended that their members stop using Twitter altogether for the time being.
Unfortunately, by leaving the social network, companies run the risk that their communities fall prey to bad actors filling the vacuum by impersonating them.
With its staff being reduced and its CEO ruling by online polls, predicting Twitter’s future and its impact on brands is rather difficult. By monitoring twitter content mentioning their IP right(s), companies can stay abreast of what their brand is associated with, even if just by association.
Using Magnify+, they can go much further. Through our SaaS interface, representatives of the brand can take action against the bad actors, by taking down the site the tweet refers to (via its domain name and/or the relevant hosting provider) or by documenting the tweet or detrimental ad and send everything to Twitter in a single click.
IP Metro believes brand owners should be better equipped against these changes and that Magnify+ can make a difference. For the next three months right owners can monitor daily mentions of their brand on Twitter for a flat fee of €29 a month. Subscribe below to get started!
Designed by lawyers for lawyers Magnify.plus is an AI-driven monitoring platform used by hundreds of brands to detect and counter infringement.
Designed by lawyers for lawyers Magnify.plus can help you detect misuse of brands on Twitter
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