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Elon was right about the blue checkmark
Except he was 15 years too late.
I’ll be honest with you. I think Elon was correct in charging for Twitter verification. I also think he was way too late.
For those of you not on Twitter/terminally online, the blue checkmark came to represent people who were “notable.” Artists, politicians, athletes, etc. For some reason, I had a blue checkmark. I don’t remember how it happened, but it did.
And it probably shouldn’t have.
Because as much as I want to joke about it (see below), I don’t have fake Bobby Miller accounts to deal with. No one is after my identity.
But, for people wealthy and influential enough to have “social media managers” on their payroll. It’s a problem.
I could see paid verification happening sometime in 2007. “Want to make sure people know you’re the real you? Pay us a monthly fee.” It could have been done privately, where no celebrity or institution would have blinked at an $8-a-month fee.
Unfortunately, the notion is many years too late. And Elon, who isn’t very good at public relations, exasperated the problem by making the change confrontational.
Still, even if many celebrities DID pay for verification, I don’t see how it could dent the money pit that is Twitter.
Plus, you have to contend with the reality of what the blue checkmark actually is/was. It helped create artificial value on an utterly meaningless site. People wanted the validation of a blue checkmark. Hell, some even petitioned for it. “Why haven’t I been verified? Aren’t I notable enough?”
Sure. The old blue checkmark was not a moneymaker, but it did help engagement on the platform. Every time I tweeted something, it reminded folks that I was notable. Even if it weren’t true.
The blue checkmark tricked me into thinking I needed to return to the platform to “maintain a presence.” Even if I wasn’t feeling it. After all, I was notable there.
Revolking all blue checkmarks and asking for money has completely inversed the “value” of a blue checkmark.
Now, it means you’re lame. It means you paid for Twitter. Some people are even blocking you on principle.
For me? Losing the blue checkmark was a further reminder of how dumb and pointless social media can be. The hunt for likes, status, and validation is depressing.
Honestly, I’m glad my pseudo-validation has been revoked.
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