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Why do people care about being verified?

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The blue checkmark signifies more than an authentic account

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

I have sad news today: we’re publishing the season 4 finale of Why’d You Push That Button? The good news, though, is that it’s a really great episode! Today, Kaitlyn Tiffany and I are asking what verification on social media accounts really means. To some, it represents more than a badge of authenticity. We wonder why people want to be verified and what they’re willing to do to get the blue checkmark.

I tell the story of my own journey to Instagram verification (weird flex, I know) and ask my friend Michelle what she thinks about me now that I have a checkmark. Afterward, we interview Verge senior reporter Adi Robertson about verification’s origins, and then we chat with two guests who differ on the importance of verification. We talk with a content creator named Mark, who once tried to pay someone to get his Instagram account verified, and artist Joseph Grazi about his Culture Cures project and why he’s slapping anti-influencer stickers onto New York City subway train cars and platforms.

As always, you can subscribe to the show anywhere you typically get your podcasts. To make it easy for you, we’ve also got our usual places linked: Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and our RSS feed. Tell a friend about the show! They have four seasons to catch up on, so we hope they enjoy.