Elon Musk Makes It Harder to Shame Twitter Blue Subscribers
Twitter’s verification flag has changed once again, making legacy verified accounts and Twitter Blue subscribers virtually indistinguishable — and harder to publicly shame. The lumping together of blue checks comes days after Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced the company would begin phasing out “legacy” verified checkmarks beginning on April 1.
Before Sunday, if a user clicked on someone’s verified blue check, an information flag would appear. Those verified before Twitter Blue was released would display the words, “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” Those who had $8 to spare would show the message, “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue” — a disclosure that immediately led to weeks of mockery and the birth of a new meme on Twitter.
Now, making fun of Twitter Blue subscribers won’t be as easy. The new information flags on some blue checks currently read, “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.” The change, which started on Sunday, has already led to a new round of jokes, and dozens of notable accounts now publicly declaring they did not pay for Twitter Blue.
While Musk’s tenure as “Chief Twit” has been marked by a variety of changes, including the addition of a tweet’s view count, increasing the character count, and removing free access to the site’s API, verification has remained an issue of interest since the beginning.
Prior to Musk’s takeover of Twitter, verifiable organizations and individuals such as politicians, journalists, and celebrities were given blue check marks free of charge to help prevent those accounts from being parodied and impersonated. While Musk has repeatedly called those with legacy check marks “nonsensical,” most of his changes to address what he called a “corrupt system” have been rolled back almost as soon as they were implemented.
When Musk introduced Twitter Blue in October 2022, the $8 subscription-based program automatically gave subscribers a blue verified check. After the program was immediately used to spread misinformation, he introduced double verification, which put an official tag on verified accounts that were notable. That lasted three hours before Musk announced “I killed it” in a tweet.
Beyond the jokes, there is an obvious flaw in Musk’s new plan — the new flag makes it even easier for people to be impersonated on the app. But those with legacy blue check marks will have to endure people thinking they coughed up the $8, at least until Musk inevitably changes his mind again.
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