Elon Musk has promised to remove all blue check marks on Twitter given to Hollywood stars, professional athletes, business leaders, authors, and journalists unless they start buying a monthly subscription. to the social media service.
Musk’s goal was to push the ad-reliant platform he bought for $44 billion last year into a pay-to-play model — and perhaps antagonize some enemies and fellow elites. in processing.
But Saturday’s deadline passed and the blue checks are still there, and many of them have a new disclaimer saying they may or may not have been paid – no one really knows but Twitter. The company did not respond to a request to clarify its changed policies on Monday.
Is the blue check important?
Matt Darling has been on Twitter for about 15 years and never cared about not getting a blue check, though he would go out when a verified account of “certain real-world importance” started following him.
“People on Twitter joke about blue checks like they’re from the aristocracy, but I don’t think anyone actually thinks that,” except for Musk, Darling said.
Now, Darling is finally getting a blue check after paying $11 last month to try out some of the features that come with a Twitter Blue subscription. But since it had become more of a “scarlet letter” under a mask than a token of credibility, he used a technique to remove the blue tick from his profile.
“It’s now a signal that you’re someone who doesn’t write good tweets, so you have to pay to share,” said Darling, an economist at the center-right Niskanen Center.
Musk said that starting April 15, only verified accounts will appear in the Twitter For You feed that recommends what tweets people see. Darling plans to drop the subscription — he’s had a lot of flack, and he’s not looking for more leverage online.
“I don’t want Twitter to be paid for. I want it to be a place where people who write interesting Tweets get engaged.”
Instead of removing the blue checkmarks, Twitter on Sunday began appending a new message to profiles: “This account has been verified because it’s blue to Twitter or is an old verified account.”
In other words, singer Dionne Warwick and other high-profile users are still getting their blue check. So does anyone who pays between $8 and $11 a month for a Twitter Blue subscription — and there’s no way to tell the difference. (Warwick, for her part, made it clear that she wouldn’t pay for a blue check because that money would “go toward my extra hot lattes.”)
This hybrid solution was good enough for Star Trek actor William Shatner, who earlier declined to opt-in, but tweeted on Sunday to Musk: “I can live with this. This is a good compromise.” But it is not clear whether this is a temporary or permanent measure.
Twitter pulled at least one verified check over the weekend: from the main account of The New York Times. The account, which has 55 million followers, was previously marked with a gold-colored check for verified organizations.
But one user pointed out to Musk over the weekend that the newspaper had said publicly that it would not pay a monthly fee to place the check mark, so Musk said he would remove the check mark and also disparaged the newspaper’s reporting.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”