If you’ve got legacy status on Twitter, we’ve got some bad news: Elon Musk is finally confiscating your blue checkmark. Well, that’s unless you pay the ransom for “Twitter Blue” — a toll booth designed to ignore people’s contributions to the platform except for the fact that they are all equally paying customers.
Business and government organizations can still apply for verified status, but let’s be real: all of this is still subject to the capricious whims of Musk, who has recently targeted newsrooms like BBC and NPR with dubious labels suggesting that they are compromised propaganda outlets. Musk’s general attitude toward journalists is grim, and removing legacy verification remains a spiteful effort to undermine anyone who is critical of the billionaire and his enterprises.
We’ve already seen disaster ensue from the introduction of paid verification, which invited a flood of impersonation on Twitter. Since then, the company has waffled about the process and nature of verification. Now that legacy checks are finally dead, we’re going to see what happens to trust and authenticity on the platform.
Twitter begins removing blue checkmarks from all legacy users
Twitter has begun removing blue checkmarks en masse from legacy verified accounts, fulfilling one of owner Elon Musk’s long-stated plans for the social media network.Read Article >
The change is apparent on Twitter accounts for several Verge writers and other journalists like LA Times reporter Matt Pearce, with the verification logos occasionally disappearing and reappearing between page reloads.
Apr 29I was on Slate’s ‘What’s Next’ podcast with Stephen King and Jon Favreau to talk about the Twitter blue check fiasco.
We talked about the past year of Twitter chaos and what a wild ride it has been. You can listen below or add the show to your podcast player of choice at this link.
Apr 26A reminder that Musk’s blue tick fiasco isn’t just about online clout.
We sometimes forget that, for all its faults, Twitter is still an important platform for sharing information online. Yes, it’s funny to see the $8-club complain about low engagement on their bad tweets, but impersonation and fake accounts can potentially have serious, real-world consequences, as Vox reports.
Twitter users are now wondering if mandatory blue checks are illegal
Okay, I’ll admit it: I did not expect the Twitter checkpocalypse to result in Dril accusing Elon Musk of violating federal consumer protection laws.Read Article >
It’s been four days since Musk removed the last “legacy verified” checkmarks, leaving Twitter’s blue checks in the hands of people who pay $8 per month for Twitter Blue. Or, at least, that was the idea. As of Monday morning, here’s how it’s gone:
Twitter claims dead celebs are subscribing to Blue from beyond the grave
After chief twit Elon Musk made good on his promise to remove Twitter accounts’ legacy verification blue ticks last week, numerous high-profile accounts now appear to be re-verified — including a number of dead celebrities.Read Article >
It’s likely that the re-appearance of their blue ticks is part of a wider (but unannounced) scheme by Twitter to restore verification to users with over one million followers. But hover over the blue ticks of the accounts of dead celebs, and Twitter will tell you they’re verified “because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”
Apr 23What is even happening with Twitter blue checks now?
I didn’t realize the past week’s verification saga could get sillier, but here we are, watching Dril fight Elon Musk to keep a checkmark off his name. You know you’re selling a great product when you start punishing your most popular users by giving it to them for free.
Some Twitter users, including @dril, are advocating for people to block anyone who subscribes to Twitter Blue. Those who do so are a lot easier to identify after the Twitter check apocalypse.
Here’s @dril, in an email to Mashable:
“99% of twitter blue guys are dead-eyed cretins who are usually trying to sell you something stupid and expensive, and now they want to pay a monthly subscription fee to boost their dog shit posts front and center,” Twitter user @dril told me in an email when I asked about his thoughts on the #BlockTheBlue campaign.
“blocking them and encouraging others to do the same on a massive scale is the complete opposite of what they want,” he continued. “Its funny.”
Apr 21The Pope has got his tick back.
Hip hip hip hooray.
(For context, Pope Francis was among the accounts stripped of its Blue checkmark as part of Twitter’s cull of legacy verified users. His account now carries a grey checkmark, which is meant for government and multilateral organizations.)
Apr 20Elon Musk is personally choosing who is a lord and who is a peasant on Twitter.
Remember when Musk pitched this whole pay-for-the-blue-checkmark business as a way to democratize Twitter, suggesting pesky elites would no longer get preferential status? How the “lords and peasants system” was “bullshit”?
Today, he turned right around and paid for LeBron James and Stephen King’s verified badges. Guess the rest of us are peasants.
Alex Heath and Jay Peters
LeBron James didn’t pay for his Twitter checkmark, but Elon Musk gave it to him anyway
Twitter has started getting rid of legacy blue checks for those who don’t pay up. Well, unless you’re LeBron James and a couple of other celebrities.Read Article >
The Verge has confirmed that an employee at Twitter recently emailed James, who has previously said he wouldn’t pay for verification, to “extend a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk.”
Apr 20Just walk out. You can leave!!! If it sucks... hit da bricks!
I’ve been off of Twitter for about two years now and it’s incredible. You really can stop thinking about it after just a little while if you commit to moving on.
None of these platforms are inevitable! They will all die someday! You don’t have to be on them!
“Real winners quit.”
- PSA: Tumblr’s blue checks come in different colors now.
Remember the total nonsense checkmarks Tumblr started selling in the early days of Twitter’s paid blue checks? Well, they’ve evolved. And you can put (almost) as many of them next to your blog name as you want.
- RIP blue check of the funniest government Twitter account.
Twitter might be a mess, but the CPSC is still a gem.
Apr 20You think you know a person.
And then you find out (again) that they pay for Twitter Blue. (We still love Joanna, obviously.)
Apr 20You can’t just add a checkmark emoji to your Twitter name to get yours back.
I tried. It’s not a new thing, though.
Twitter promises it’s really, actually removing legacy blue checks very soon
Twitter reiterated today that it’s going to remove legacy verified checkmarks Thursday, April 20th. Yes, that does mean Elon Musk’s Twitter intends to remove the last vestiges of what he once deemed the “lords & peasants system” on 4/20, ha ha.Read Article >
The thing is, I won’t believe Twitter until it actually happens. The company originally said that it would “begin” removing checkmarks on April 1st, but as far as I know, that hasn’t taken place. (Well, outside of Twitter removing The New York Times’ verified checkmark after the publication said it wouldn’t pay the reportedly high fees for organizational accounts, but it seems like Musk made sure that happened.)
PBS also stops tweeting after being hit with ‘government-funded media’ label
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has stopped tweeting from its primary Twitter account after it was given a “government-funded media” label. As of this writing the @PBS account hasn’t tweeted since April 8th, and the organization has since confirmed that it currently has “no plans” to resume posting to Twitter.Read Article >
“PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time,” PBS spokesman Jason Phelps tells Bloomberg. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.” While PBS isn’t tweeting from its main account, it’s continued to put out content on affiliated accounts like @NewsHour, which have not had the “government-funded” label applied.
Apr 12It’s over, they got me.
Twitter is now threat-selling verification, which is very funny.
NPR becomes first major news organization to leave Twitter
NPR has announced that it will no longer use Twitter to distribute its content after the social media platform began labeling the network as “US state-affiliated media,” putting it in the same category as government mouthpiece publications like RT and China Daily. NPR is the first major news organization to pull from the platform and comes at a time when Twitter CEO Elon Musk’s relationship with the press is at a low point.Read Article >
NPR’s main Twitter account has been silent since getting the label a week ago, but CEO John Lansing made the stance official in a memo sent to staffers Wednesday morning. “We are not putting our journalism on platforms that have demonstrated an interest in undermining our credibility and the public’s understanding of our editorial independence,” he wrote.
Apr 11Promises, promises.
The beginning of the end for “legacy” verified blue checks who aren’t paying to buy Twitter Blue benefits was supposed to be April 1st.
There’s no indication much changed on that date, but now Musk has listed a “final” date for removing legacy check marks — April 20th. Yes, it’s 4/20. Get it?
Of course, Musk also promised ad revenue splits for creators that never appeared, and said Twitter was done with layoffs before proceeding with more rounds of layoffs, so we’ll just wait to see what happens.
Mar 31Lords, peasants, and kings.
Elon Musk proposed his plan for paid verification as an alternative to the previous system of “lords & peasants,” but not everyone is buying in.
LeBron James — a Martin fan who is notoriously cheap, refusing to pay for data roaming or ad-free Pandora — isn’t paying to stay verified post-April 1st.
Mar 31News outlets respond to Twitter Blue coercion with a resounding ‘meh.’
Twitter is removing blue checkmarks from legacy verified accounts tomorrow, which begs the question: which newsrooms will pony up for Twitter Blue so their staff remains verified?
“Not many” appears to be the answer, at least If the pool interviewed by BuzzFeed is anything to go by. For what it’s worth, Vox Media (our parent company) won’t be paying for staff Twitter Blue subscriptions, either.
Elon Musk says Twitter’s For You page will only recommend verified accounts
Twitter users will need a “verified account” to get recommended on the platform’s For You page starting on April 15th, according to a Monday evening tweet from CEO Elon Musk.Read Article >
Given that Twitter has promised to start dismantling the “legacy” verified system at the beginning of April, that appears to mean that you’ll have to be a company, government entity, or Twitter Blue subscriber if you want to pop into the feeds of people who don’t follow you. Musk clarified on Tuesday that accounts you already follow will show up in For You, too, “since you have explicitly asked for them.”
Twitter Blue subscribers may be able to hide their blue checks
Twitter may be working on a feature that lets you hide the blue checkmark you got by paying for its Blue subscription. A screen found by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shows that the company is working on a control panel for verification settings, with one of the options being “Show or hide your blue checkmark on your profile.”Read Article >
This report should definitely be taken with a grain of salt, given that it appears to be an in-development feature that Twitter hasn’t announced (and that the company’s taking a long time to ship things it has said are coming). However, I can see why Twitter might want to add it. Depending on what part of the site you’re on, the blue verified checkmark can make you as much of a pariah as having an NFT profile picture. If a tweet from a Twitter Blue user goes viral, the comments are likely filled with memes about how “this mf paid for twitter,” and there are even tools to block everyone who has the subscription.
Twitter claims ‘legacy’ blue checkmarks will start to disappear on April Fools’ Day
Twitter has announced that it’ll start “winding down” its legacy verified program and removing “legacy verified checkmarks” starting on April 1st, and is telling users to subscribe to its Blue subscription if they want to keep their blue check.Read Article >
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, the announcement isn’t necessarily a surprise. CEO Elon Musk has been promising to get rid of “legacy” blue check marks, or verification badges that were given under Twitter’s previous rules, since November, and he’s reiterated that they’d be going away “in coming months” several times. According to Musk, those verification badges were given out in a “corrupt and nonsensical” manner (though they are in fact quite useful for letting users confirm that the celebrities they’re interacting with are indeed the real person).