ELON Musk has confirmed that Twitter will charge users $8 (£7) per month to users who want a blue tick by their name to indicate a verified account. 

As part of changes following the £38bn takeover, Musk said it was “essential to defeat spam/scam”.

A blue-tick mark next to a username is currently free with critics saying that the latest move could make it harder to identify reliable sources. 

Musk added that paid users would have priority in replies and searches and half as many advertisements. 

He said on Twitter: “Power to the people! Blue for $8/month” and criticised the old method as a “lords and peasants system”. 

The former method of verifying users for a blue tick account included a short online application form and was first introduced in 2009. 

The new owner has said he wants to reduce Twitter’s reliance on advertising. General Motors – a rival of Musk’s electric car company Tesla – said last week it was suspending advertising on the site. 

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The charge for blue tick privileges drew criticism after original reports suggested users could be charged as much as £18 a month. 

Many on the platform echoed the thoughts of legendary horror author Stephen King who wrote in response to reports of changes that Twitter “should pay me”. 

Musk replied and said: “We need to pay the bills somehow!”