Elon Musk has finally followed through on his promise to remove legacy blue ticks from Twitter users. However, the site hasn’t so much removed them, as merely hidden them from plain sight.
After failing to meet previous self-imposed deadlines, Twitter did yank the blue ticks (or checkmarks) from celebrities, journalists and other notable organisations yesterday evening (British time).
However, so far the removal of the verified status is largely cosmetic. Those of us who were previously verified can, for example, still filter notifications based on verified status:
These results include tweets from accounts that haven’t paid for the new verified status.
As spotted by Alexandra Erin, it’s also still possible to search Twitter based on those who have verified status only, and that again includes accounts that were previously verified.
It seems that Twitter’s short-term fix is simply to hide the blue tick that was previously displayed on legacy verified accounts, while still conferring the minor privileges that were afforded to verified account holders.
Musk the kingmaker
Having lambasted the previous verified system for its unfairness, it now appears Elon Musk is paying for some famous Twitter accounts to retain their verified status, even though they didn’t ask for it.
Former basketball star LeBron James, Star Trek star William Shatner and author Stephen King are among those who have seemingly benefited from Musk’s generosity. Shatner and King had both previously publicly stated they wouldn’t pay for Twitter Blue, the new scheme that verifies anyone willing to pay $8 a month.
King made it plain that he didn’t exactly welcome the handout:
The benefits of Twitter Blue
Aside from that now questionable blue tick, the benefits afforded by Twitter Blue don’t seem to have tempted a great swathe of previously verified accounts to bite the bullet and pay. The promised benefits include prioritised ranking in conversations and search results, the ability to edit tweets for up to 30 minutes after they’ve been published, the option to add bold and italics to the text of tweets, and the option to create mammoth tweets of up to 10,000 characters in length.
Companies and organisations face an even steeper bill of $1,000 per month if they wish to be verified.
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