Twitter’s blue tick saga eroded trust, without boosting subs

For its part, Twitter appears to be fanning the flames of division by ticking off Blue subscribers and old verified accounts, but changing the text on the old accounts to say they “may or may not be noteworthy.”

It then threatened to delete all verified legacy ticks, even giving a deadline of April 1st and sending a notification to verified legacy accounts telling them to sign up for Blue, which it failed to do. As if realizing that removing the legacy markers would reveal how poor the people who paid for Blue were, it kept them and changed the text so all the markers were the same.

A few weeks later, Twitter actually went through Remove legacy ticks April 21, but few people seem to care. Some celebrity accounts expressed relief that they no longer appear to be paying for Twitter Blue, while some paid subscribers complained that they were becoming vulnerable and that their impressions were dropping due to organized blocking campaigns like #BlockTheBlue.

Cyber ​​sleuths continue to monitor exactly how many people are signing up, and publicly available data shows that out of 400,000 old verified accounts, fewer than 500 paid a fee to keep them checked.

In the days after the purge, many high-profile accounts withdrew their checkmarks, many claiming they hadn’t been paid for them. Asked for comment, Musk said he pays for some users’ subscriptions himself. Stephen King asked Musk to donate to pro-Ukrainian charities instead (which he apparently did). Comedian Dril lost his check, regained it, openly questioned whether it was illegal to make someone appear to be endorsing a product when they weren’t, then lost his check again.

developer travis brown estimate After adding 12,000 accounts last week, the total number of Blue users is between 615,000 and 650,000. That’s only a third of last week’s signups, and Brown said most or all of those 12,000 were likely gifted by Musk.


Twitter recently officially flipped the switch to give Blue subscribers priority in reply threads, and the results were a little ugly. Any conversation with enough views now has dozens of comments from spammers, scammers, anti-trans activists, and far-right conspiracy theorists right at the top, all with a blue tick , which makes engaging in conversations a nuisance, and the whole verification system unattractive.

Perhaps the biggest red flag in all of this is an apparent lack of forward planning; Twitter’s leadership hardly ever thinks of getting one step ahead.Apparently, blue ticks are coveted only because they are rare, mysterious and associated with celebrities, so give them to anyone who pays, and at the same time delete them Funding from legacy verified accounts will always devalue them.

The company doesn’t realize this, and it’s been so reckless in its response (restoring the blue ticks on many celebrity and high-follower accounts, including those who have died or publicly criticized the system) is symptomatic of the company’s entire approach since horses Since SK took over.

As of today, there are many problems with Twitter’s comprehensive verification process.

Most notably, it doesn’t verify anything, and accounts impersonating individuals and businesses are still common on official-branded services. For a small fee, you can look like a proven Joe Biden or a Disney Junior and say what you want. A blue tick could also mean that someone has paid for Twitter Blue, or it could mean they’re a celebrity with a lot of followers, but can’t tell which (or both).

And Twitter actually makes the situation worse, as many people may actually want to pay for the subscription to get the few legitimate benefits it brings (like tweet editing and more video options, which is great for aspiring content creators and self-promoters) are actively scared off by campaigns targeting and blocking anyone with a blue tick and a low follower count.

To be clear, the previous system wasn’t great either, and ideally Twitter would end up using this experience to split the system into three distinct components that would work better when they weren’t linked; one to prevent impersonation and spam A verification system for mail, a paid subscription that gives access to premium features, and a shiny logo that can be attached to provide quick information about the account.

But maybe this time it should all be sorted out ahead of time.

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