Elon has recently made headlines for threatening to take away legacy blue verification check marks from verified Twitter accounts that were not paying for Twitter Blue.
Before Twitter Blue, a verification meant simply that a person was exactly who they said they were, and not an imposter. However, with Musk’s Twitter Blue, it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish between accounts that are legacy verified and accounts that have simply paid for Twitter Blue.
Originally, Musk set April 1 as the last date that legacy verified accounts not paying for Twitter Blue would be able to keep their verification check marks, but with April 1 coming and going, legacy accounts remained with their check marks. I think it’s notable to point out that many celebrities and noteworthy organizations were unwilling to pay for Twitter Blue, an $8 a month subscription.
Jack Black told Variety, “I’m a little embarrassed by the blue check to be honest with you. Maybe it’s cooler not to have checks. It’s definitely not cool to pay for it. I’m gonna see what happens if I don’t pay for it. I’m gonna call his bluff, see if he really takes my check away.”
I disagree with Elon’s decision to remove these check marks in the first place, because without these legacy checkmarks, Twitter risks driving away creators and celebrity figures, instead enabling impersonators willing to spend the $8 a month to spread information or scam users.
Now with anybody able to obtain a blue check mark, and with many celebrities rather losing their verification than paying for Twitter Blue, many security risks will emerge, and it will be crucial for Twitter to find a way to deal with them. Recently, Elon stated that the final date for all legacy check marks to be removed will be April 20.
In an interview with BBC when asked about how taking away verification marks would impact disinformation spread, Musk replied, “I think the media is a driver of misinformation much more than the media would like to admit that they are.”
Instead of acknowledging the threats of removing verification marks, Musk continues to berate the media about spreading misinformation. In addition to the verification symbol, Twitter Blue also offers that those who paid for check marks would be boosted by Twitter’s recommendation algorithm and be eligible to appear in people’s “For You” newsfeeds.
I think this is very intriguing idea, but there needs to be security checks for those who buy it to stop impersonators and scammers from spreading misinformation.