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Everyone knows you paid to be verified on Twitter

Everyone knows you paid to be verified on Twitter


Clicking on the check mark on someone’s profile might tell you more than they want you to know.

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A screenshot of Twitter’s verification context labels.
The old verification label and the new one.
Image: Jay Peters / The Verge

Twitter just rolled out the new Twitter Blue with verification, and one unsaid feature is that it will let you see who is paying the $7.99 per month fee for their blue check mark.

For as long as I can remember, Twitter has offered additional context about verification check marks when you click on them on someone’s profile. The old context message stated that accounts were verified because they were “notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category,” with a link to Twitter’s support page about verification. Now, clicking someone’s blue check just says that “this account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue,” also with a link to the verification support page.

The message isn’t a total surprise; app researcher Nima Owji had spotted the text ahead of the new Blue’s official rollout. But now that the message is viewable by everyone, it’s pretty easy to know who is paying for Blue and who isn’t.

That said, clicking someone’s check mark isn’t a perfect way to tell who has paid to be verified. I was already verified, and I subscribed for the new Blue right after Twitter rolled it out on Wednesday, but if you click the check mark on my profile, it currently has the old verification message.

I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes down the line, and according to a pair of new tweets from Musk, the old message will be adjusted. “We are changing the text to say ‘Legacy Verified. Could be notable, but could also be bogus,’” he tweeted Wednesday night. I’ll believe that one when I see it. Musk also says that Twitter will add “granularity to verified badge, such as organizational affiliation & ID verification” in the days ahead.

Update November 10th, 2:38AM ET: Added new tweets from Musk.