Twitter announced that it is removing the verification system that gave blue check marks to accounts it confirmed to be genuine and in the public interest.
The company, in a tweet, said, “On 1 April, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue and organisations can sign up for Verified Organizations”.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
Twitter introduced verified accounts in 2009 to help users identify genuine celebrity, political, company and brand accounts, news organizations, and other accounts of public interest. Formerly, celebrities, officials, journalists, and other notable individuals could request verification through the program. News feeds, fans, parodies, and other accounts of a similar nature were not eligible.
The check marks, which were free, are now available to anyone who subscribes to Twitter Blue — a subscription service the company launched last year. Soon after Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October, he introduced Twitter Blue, which he described as a way to stem trolls and bots. He claimed that Twitter’s old system of verification was “corrupt”.
In November last year, Musk announced the policy change shortly after taking over the company. He tweeted: “Far too many corrupt legacy Blue’ verification’ checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months”.
However, many users saw beyond this to the fact that Musk needs to make money and handing out blue check marks to everyone willing to pay for it is one way to do that.
When Twitter Blue was first launched, there was inevitable chaos as some users signed up for $8 service and imitated big brands. This led to confusion, and Twitter Blue had to be paused, allowing the company to refine the process and set out ground rules.
Following that debacle, the company introduced a gold badge for companies and assigned a grey checkmark to government accounts.
It is not necessary for accounts to be notable to be eligible for Twitter Blue. Criteria for the service include being non-deceptive, active and older than 90 days.