In 2022, South African-born American entrepreneur, Elon Musk, announced his purchase of Twitter for approximately $44 billion. This made him the sole owner of the company. As Twitter’s new owner, he initiated significant changes, including changing the name from Twitter to X, newly this government ID account verification in X, workforce reduction of about half the company, and the introduction of an $8 per month fee for users to obtain blue checkmark verification.
X is partnering with AU10TIX, an Israeli company specializing in identity verification, to make this happen. They may store the data, including the photos and ID information, for up to 30 days.
Extra benefits of government ID verification in X
X believes that this verification process can do more than just prevent impersonation. It could help with controlling content and reducing spam. Verified users will see a note on their profile indicating that their government ID has been verified, but others can only see this when they click on the blue checkmark. In an interesting move, X is allowing paying users to hide the checkmarks on their profiles. This has led to some confusion about the account verification in X. However, X plans to make it easier for users to get verified with their IDs and also wants to give verified users more flexibility in changing their names, usernames, or profile photos without losing their checkmark.
In April, Twitter discontinued its legacy verification program and removed checkmarks from accounts. But since that caused a lot of chaos, the company reinstated the checkmark for top accounts.
The checkmark system has been controversial, especially since Elon Musk took charge. It was briefly behind a paywall but was later brought back after users complained. X is also planning to collect biometric data from users, which has raised concerns about privacy. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is looking into possible privacy and security issues related to this.