Twitter has endured numerous company shakeups since tech entrepreneur Elon Musk purchased the social giant in 2022. From multimedia outages to the alleged spread of misinformation, Musk has been largely criticized for many of his decisions at company headquarters. The richest man in the world has allegedly become so paranoid over the criticism that he has two bodyguards follow him everywhere he goes.
Arguably the largest controversy surrounding Musk’s Twitter takeover is his choice to abandon the legacy verification program. Prior to Musk’s purchase of the company, celebrities, journalists, and politicians would undergo a verification process to prove their authenticity and earn a coveted blue check mark. Now, Musk has launched Twitter Blue, which provides the blue check to anyone willing to pay for it. Journalists on the platform have largely criticized this policy change, arguing that it could allow for a massive spread of misinformation.
Before I lose this blue check, I just want y'all to know:
-If I ever say Michael B. Jordan, Yahya, Luke James, Lucky Daye, Trevante Rhodes, or Rege-Jean Page are ugly
-I hate coffee or kickboxing
—JUST KNOW I'VE BEEN HACKED OR IT'S A FAKE PAGE..lol bc I would NEVER
— Shanelle Genai✨ (@shanellegenai) March 31, 2023
Some reporters created memes to commemorate the humorous absurdity of the policy.
On the eve of losing my blue check, I couldn’t help but wonder — was it ever about the blue check? Or was it about me, and the friends I made along the way? pic.twitter.com/Jv5frxmz4j
— abby (@abbyluschei) March 31, 2023
losing my blue check tomorrow to join the huddled masses pic.twitter.com/B2qqTno4zC
— David Mack (@davidmackau) March 31, 2023
Former Twitter executive Nathan Hubbard posted a thread at the risks of revoking the traditional verification policy. From misinformation to security risks, Hubbard explained the years of work that went into the design of the original process.
3) We verified those people so that any user could know they were interacting with a real account; part of the fun of twitter is the real time dialogue with thought leaders (that then flows to others in the replies who get to share their thoughts and ideas).
— Nathan Hubbard (@NathanCHubbard) March 31, 2023
Celebrities with verified accounts have additionally spoken out and criticized the new verification system.
I am not paying for a blue check. That money could (and will) be going towards my extra hot lattes. ????
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) March 31, 2023
LeBron convincing the verified accounts to not pay for a blue check pic.twitter.com/BhVrrTKykx
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) March 31, 2023
Others poked fun at the end of legacy verification falling on April Fool’s Day, with some still hoping it’s meant to be a joke.
me finally losing my little blue check tomorrow pic.twitter.com/N2kx9yrLZQ
— reidykins (@thereidfeed) March 31, 2023
As of now, despite mass pushback, Elon Musk has not revoked the policy change, and starting tomorrow, Twitter Blue will be the only way to achieve verification.