Twitter has delayed the rollout of paid account verification until after the end of the US midterm elections, according to The New York Times. The company reportedly made the decision on Saturday after it briefly began rolling out its $8 per month Twitter Blue service. In the hours after the company released an iOS app update that gave people a preview of its new verification system, both employees and users raised concerns that paid badges could lead to confusion ahead of a pivotal election.
According to The Times, one Twitter employee, writing in an internal company Slack channel, asked management why the social network was “making such a risky change” with the “potential of causing election interference.” A day later, a manager on the project said “we’ve made the decision to move the launch of this release to November 9th, after the election.”
Twitter did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for comment. The majority of the company’s public relations team was let go on Friday. Before Elon Musk announced Twitter’s revamped subscription service on Tuesday, the company had reserved blue badges for the accounts of notable politicians, celebrities, journalists and other prominent figures. While the system the company used for handling verification requests was often a mess, it was at least designed to limit impersonation. It’s unclear how the company plans to prevent that kind of behavior moving forward.
The November 9th release date is likely to come with a sigh of relief for the engineers working on paid verifications. Before Sunday, Elon Musk had reportedly told employees they had until November 7th to ship the feature or else they would be fired.