Twitter's answer to its self-inflicted verification problem is to add... a second check mark
To combat the pending influx of verified Twitter Blue accounts, some organizations will get an 'official' check mark
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Twitter verification
✅ Twitter is introducing a second check mark for “official” accounts
The check mark will be given to government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some public figures
🙅♂️ Unlike Twitter Blue, the “official” label cannot be bought
👀 You’ll be able to see the gray “official” checkmark by clicking on an account
Thought the Twitter turmoil was over for this week? Think again.
The next chapter of Elon Musk’s reign sees the company trying to fix a problem entirely of its own making: how to distinguish Twitter Blue subscribers, who bought their blue checkmarks, from officially verified accounts.
Who saw that one coming? Well, the answer it turns out, is the entirety of the Internet except for Elon Musk.
Twitter’s Esther Crawford shared a thread about how the social media platform aims to help users identify the difference between a Twitter Blue subscriber – who will earn a verified check mark for paying $8 a month – from accounts that are already sporting a blue tick. And yeah, it’s as hamfisted as you’d expect.
As you can see, by clicking on a user’s account, a new gray check mark will soon be present if Twitter has deemed it worthy of an official label. You can see how the official label shows up on the timeline below.
According to Crawford, not all accounts that were previously verified will get the official stamp of approval, but you can expect government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers, and some public figures to earn the new badge. Unlike Twitter Blue, the official check mark cannot be bought and will be dished out by Twitter itself, much like how the old verified system worked.
Crawford also clarified that those who sign up for Twitter Blue will not need ID verification, which would go a long way to making people more accountable online and also stop bots and trolls. She said the company will continue to experiment with ways to differentiate between account types, meaning we could see more check marks, or different types, appear in the future.
What a mess, right? The clean-up operation may already be underway, but it was patently obvious from the outset that letting people pay to receive a blue tick would completely destroy the social media platform’s very effective way of distinguishing which accounts were genuine.
Now, instead of spending time creating features that will make Twitter more appealing to the masses – or, heaven forbid, introduce more tangible value to Twitter Blue – the remaining Twitter workforce that wasn’t laid off is having to solve a problem for which it already had the perfect solution.
Musk has already been ridiculed online by accounts pretending to be the Tesla CEO, who took it upon themselves to highlight the stupidity of giving everyone a tick just because they paid for it. It led the billionaire to roll out a new suspension policy to prevent accounts from impersonating him, despite Musk tweeting “comedy is now legal on Twitter” shortly after his takeover. It seems that things are only funny when the joke isn’t being made at his expense.
What’s next for Twitter, then? Honestly, your guess is good as mine, but the platform feels like witnessing a car crash in real-time at the moment. You want to look away, but you just can’t help but stare.
The Shortcut is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.