Elon Musk's Twitter removes paid verification feature of Taliban after outrage


Twitter has revoked the paid-for verification feature of Taliban officials, hours after several users raised concerns about it on the micro-blogging site.   

Two prominent officials and four supporters got their accounts verified using a bluetick subscription, according to BBC. This includes the head of the Taliban department for access to information, Hedayatullah Hedayat, who has around 187,000 followers, and the head of the media watchdog in the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, Abdul Haq Hammad, who has almost 170,000 followers.


It’s not just Hedayat and Hammad, many prominent Taliban supporters now have verified accounts.

Initially, the company had said that its blue tick service will indicate only, “noble, active and authentic accounts of public interest,” which will be verified by it, and could not be purchased. However, soon after Elon Musk’s takeover, the microblogging site announced its paid “verification tick” available at the price of $8 for android users and $11 for people using the app on Apple devices.

The presence of these hard-line Islamists on Twitter has long been a topic of controversy. 

Back in 2021, former US president Donald Trump’s account was suspended after the Jan 06, Capitol incident. At the time, Trump had remarked, “we live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favourite American President has been silenced.”

On Monday, a Taliban official Muhammad Jalal praised Elon Musk saying that he is “making Twitter great again.”

Before the introduction of the so-called paid blue tick, no Taliban official had a verified account. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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