Erdogan says he could discuss charge for Twitter blue check with Elon Musk

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he may negotiate with Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk to avoid paying the monthly $8 charge for the “verified” badge.

After buying Twitter for $44 billion last week, Musk said the company will charge $8 a month for its Blue service, which includes the sought-after blue check mark.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV on Wednesday, Erdogan said he may speak to Musk and discuss the charge.

“It might be different for us,” Erdogan said, when asked about the new charge for the blue check. “We could carry out some diplomacy with him as well,” he added jokingly.

A blue check mark next to a person’s user name on the social media platform means Twitter has confirmed that the account belongs to the person or company claiming it. Twitter is currently free for most users.

More than 80% of Twitter users who took part in a recent poll said they would not pay for the checkmark. Some 10% said they were willing to pay $5 a month.

Musk said on Tuesday subscribers with blue check marks would get priority in replies, mentions and search and would be able to post longer videos and audios. They would see half as many ads.

He also offered subscribers a paywall bypass from “publishers willing to work with us.”

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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