Elon Musk relaunches Twitter Blue

The White House blasted the billionaire for the tweets against Fauci calling them "disgusting" and "divorced from reality".

Elon Musk.
Image: Instagram

Billionaire Elon Musk relaunched the Twitter subscription service on Monday after a first attempt saw an embarrassing spate of fake accounts that scared advertisers and cast doubt on the site's future.

The first try last month came just 10 days after Musk's $44 billion takeover of the platform and a mass round of layoffs that saw company staff levels halved, including teams of workers moderating content.

The relaunch of Twitter Blue in a handful of countries including the United States comes as the Tesla and SpaceX owner has stepped up his tweets endorsing right-wing causes, including opposition to the use of gender-neutral pronouns and the US government's response to Covid-19.


The subscription service costs $8 per month for users accessing Twitter on the web and $11 if signing up on an Apple device.

The initial rollout of Twitter Blue caused an uproar when many fake accounts popped up pretending to be celebrities or companies and Musk's team was forced to pull the plug on the scheme.

This time, the company beefed up its verification procedure with a review required by Twitter before receiving the coveted blue mark.


A blue checkmark on an account, which indicates it has been verified by Twitter, was previously free but reserved for organizations and public figures in an attempt to avoid impersonation and misinformation.

The relaunch came the same day as reports that Musk disbanded Twitter's Trust and Safety Council -- a body created six years ago that allows the company to tap into global experts for help shaping strategies around hate speech, child safety, civil rights and other sensitive issues.

An email sent to council members said Twitter is reevaluating how it brings "external insights" into its work and decided that the council is "not the best structure to do this," The Washington Post and CNN reported, citing copies of the message.

Some members of the Trust and Safety Council had already resigned in protest, saying the wellbeing of Twitter users was declining with Musk in charge, CNN reported.