Musk’s Blue Checkmark Reform Backfired Very Quickly
This is what would convince me, an experienced Twitter user, to pay $8 every month
I’m not here to tell you that Twitter is dead. Too many people are saying exactly that at the moment. People have been actually saying the platform is gone for a few years now. I have no idea whether Twitter is dying, is already dead, or will end up thriving. Elon Musk has had too many wild gambles working out for him for anyone to rule out what he is doing automatically.
I am, however, quite sure that the direction Twitter is heading when it comes to the blue checkmark verification is wrong and will harm the platform and its users. Moreover, if Twitter is looking for more experienced and serious creators, and expect them to pay, the platform should be doing things completely differently.
Let’s talk about one of the first steps taken by Twitter’s new owner, other than showing up at the company’s headquarters with a sink. Musk announced that the current “lords & peasants” system of Twitter needs to be fixed and so anyone who pays $8 monthly could get a blue tick verification plus a few (in my opinion) minor perks.
I’ve been an active Twitter user for the past 11 years, and although I do like the blue tick next to my name, I have never seen it as a status symbol or as something that had given me any value. It is, quite plainly, a method of verification that my Twitter persona is the same as my actual one. It’s more of a service for my followers rather than for me. While it’s true that the blue tick might have divided the Twitter community by those who have it and does who do not, it did it in a way that mimics real life. Some people have a higher public profile, and those people will tend to be more at risk of imposters.
For a company that claims to want to fight imposters, trolls, and fake news, switching the view of what is a functional tool to a status symbol doesn’t really make any sense. Allowing everyone to get verification based on money doesn’t really make any sense. Indeed, surprise surprise, moments after the last update, a Twitter user changed his username and picture and flashed his newly purchased blue tick mocking the new owner, Elon Musk.