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Twitter Descends into Chaos as News Outlets, Pope and Brands Lose Verification

The end of traditional verification reflects the site's decline

Friday morning, Twitter users awoke to even more chaos on the platform than they had become accustomed to in recent months under CEO Elon Musk after a wide-ranging rollback of blue check marks from celebrities, journalists and government agencies.

The end of traditional verification marked the beginning of a radically different information regime on Twitter, one highlighted by almost immediate impersonations of government accounts; the removal of labels previously used to identify Chinese and Russian propaganda; and a scramble by the company to individually re-verify certain high-profile figures, including Pope Francis.

A broad array of media organizations lost the gold verification badges Musk's team had developed months earlier as an alternative to traditional brand verification, reflecting those organizations' apparent refusal to pay for the badges that now cost $1,000 a month.

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