Trevor Noah is in good company when it comes to people who disagree with Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk’s plan to charge users to maintain their blue-check verification. While Musk, who purchased the social platform for $44 billion in October, proposed charging a $20 monthly subscription fee to maintain the distinguishing mark, he later buckled to backlash and decreased the price to $8.
His reasoning is that it will help boost Twitter’s revenue to reward content creators, decrease ads, and add other functions such as the ability to post longer video and audio clips. “Power to the people,” wrote Musk in a Nov. 1 tweet.
However, Noah said that if Musk is really concerned about making the social platform more profitable, then maybe he should consider charging a specific sector of Twitter’s users. “So, here’s my question: If you’re trying to create equality on Twitter, why charge anyone to be verified? Just give everyone a blue checkmark then,” said Noah during the Nov. 1 taping of “The Daily Show” in Atlanta.
He continued, “Why are you charging people? It doesn’t make sense to offer it as ‘equality’ and then put a price on it, do you get what I’m saying? Can you imagine if MLK was out there like, ‘I have a dream. I have a dream … and I’ll tell you all about it for $8.99 a month.’ It wouldn’t be the same thing.”
Noah further slammed Musk’s reasoning of trying to make the platform a more equitable space. “It’s all about ‘equality.’ No, you’re trying to make money. I get it. I think this $8 a month thing is ridiculous. If you ask me, if Elon Musk wants to make money from Twitter, what he should do [is], don’t charge people for blue checkmarks. Charge white people to say the N-word. Twitter will be the most profitable company in history. Racists will be taking out loans,” he said.
In the wake of Musk’s Twitter takeover, the Network Contagion Research Institute released a report stating that use of the N-word increased by as much as 500 percent. Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, said the uptick in racist rhetoric was the byproduct of internet trolls. “Twitter’s policies haven’t changed. Hateful conduct has no place here. And we’re taking steps to put a stop to an organized effort to make people think we have,” Roth said.
Those efforts may be a little too late, as several celebrities have sworn off Twitter now that Musk is the helm. “How to Get Away With Murder” creator Shonda Rhimes said she was “not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned. Bye,” in a tweet. Another notable Hollywood figure who said farewell to followers is “This Is Us” creator Ken Olin. “I’m out of here,” he wrote. Other celebrities such as LeBron James and Toni Braxton both expressed growing concerns of hate speech becoming all too common on Twitter.
Though Noah has not made any public plans to leave the platform, he will be ending his stint as host of “The Daily Show.” The comedian announced his plans to depart the show in September.