Twitter’s blue check apocalypse is here, and this is the full story


If you’ve got legacy status on Twitter, we’ve got some bad news: Elon Musk is finally confiscating your blue checkmark. Well, that’s unless you pay the ransom for “Twitter Blue” — a toll booth designed to ignore people’s contributions to the platform except for the fact that they are all equally paying customers.

Business and government organizations can still apply for verified status, but let’s be real: all of this is still subject to the capricious whims of Musk, who has recently targeted newsrooms like BBC and NPR with dubious labels suggesting that they are compromised propaganda outlets. Musk’s general attitude toward journalists is grim, and removing legacy verification remains a spiteful effort to undermine anyone who is critical of the billionaire and his enterprises.

We’ve already seen disaster ensue from the introduction of paid verification, which invited a flood of impersonation on Twitter. Since then, the company has waffled about the process and nature of verification. Now that legacy checks are finally dead, we’re going to see what happens to trust and authenticity on the platform.

  • PSA: Tumblr’s blue checks come in different colors now.

    Remember the total nonsense checkmarks Tumblr started selling in the early days of Twitter’s paid blue checks? Well, they’ve evolved. And you can put (almost) as many of them next to your blog name as you want.

    A picture of Tumblr’s ad for “Important Rainbow Internet Checkmarks”

  • You think you know a person.

    And then you find out (again) that they pay for Twitter Blue. (We still love Joanna, obviously.)

  • You can’t just add a checkmark emoji to your Twitter name to get yours back.

    I tried. It’s not a new thing, though.

    A screenshot of Twitter’s Edit Profile page with the message: “Account update failed: Name can’t include ‘✔️’”

    A screenshot of Twitter’s Edit Profile page with the message: “Account update failed: Name can’t include ‘✔️’”

    a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge
  • In this photo illustration, the Public Broadcasting Service...

    In this photo illustration, the Public Broadcasting Service...

    The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has stopped tweeting from its primary Twitter account after it was given a “government-funded media” label. As of this writing the @PBS account hasn’t tweeted since April 8th, and the organization has since confirmed that it currently has “no plans” to resume posting to Twitter. 

    “PBS stopped tweeting from our account when we learned of the change and we have no plans to resume at this time,” PBS spokesman Jason Phelps tells Bloomberg. “We are continuing to monitor the ever-changing situation closely.” While PBS isn’t tweeting from its main account, it’s continued to put out content on affiliated accounts like @NewsHour, which have not had the “government-funded” label applied.

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  • It’s over, they got me.

    Twitter is now threat-selling verification, which is very funny.

    An ad on Twitter that reads “don’t lose your blue check.”

    An ad on Twitter that reads “don’t lose your blue check.”

  • Promises, promises.

    The beginning of the end for “legacy” verified blue checks who aren’t paying to buy Twitter Blue benefits was supposed to be April 1st.

    There’s no indication much changed on that date, but now Musk has listed a “final” date for removing legacy check marks — April 20th. Yes, it’s 4/20. Get it?

    Of course, Musk also promised ad revenue splits for creators that never appeared, and said Twitter was done with layoffs before proceeding with more rounds of layoffs, so we’ll just wait to see what happens.

  • News outlets respond to Twitter Blue coercion with a resounding ‘meh.’

    Twitter is removing blue checkmarks from legacy verified accounts tomorrow, which begs the question: which newsrooms will pony up for Twitter Blue so their staff remains verified?

    “Not many” appears to be the answer, at least If the pool interviewed by BuzzFeed is anything to go by. For what it’s worth, Vox Media (our parent company) won’t be paying for staff Twitter Blue subscriptions, either.

  • Elon Musk, with a background of Twitter badges

    Elon Musk, with a background of Twitter badges

    Twitter may be working on a feature that lets you hide the blue checkmark you got by paying for its Blue subscription. A screen found by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi shows that the company is working on a control panel for verification settings, with one of the options being “Show or hide your blue checkmark on your profile.”

    This report should definitely be taken with a grain of salt, given that it appears to be an in-development feature that Twitter hasn’t announced (and that the company’s taking a long time to ship things it has said are coming). However, I can see why Twitter might want to add it. Depending on what part of the site you’re on, the blue verified checkmark can make you as much of a pariah as having an NFT profile picture. If a tweet from a Twitter Blue user goes viral, the comments are likely filled with memes about how “this mf paid for twitter,” and there are even tools to block everyone who has the subscription.

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  • An illustration of the Twitter logo.

    An illustration of the Twitter logo.

    Twitter has announced that it’ll start “winding down” its legacy verified program and removing “legacy verified checkmarks” starting on April 1st, and is telling users to subscribe to its Blue subscription if they want to keep their blue check.

    There’s a lot to unpack here. First, the announcement isn’t necessarily a surprise. CEO Elon Musk has been promising to get rid of “legacy” blue check marks, or verification badges that were given under Twitter’s previous rules, since November, and he’s reiterated that they’d be going away “in coming months” several times. According to Musk, those verification badges were given out in a “corrupt and nonsensical” manner (though they are in fact quite useful for letting users confirm that the celebrities they’re interacting with are indeed the real person).

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  • A blue Twitter bird logo with a repeating pattern in the background

    A blue Twitter bird logo with a repeating pattern in the background

    People all over the world can now pay for Twitter, as the company has announced that its Twitter Blue subscription service is now available globally. While the subscription has been pretty widely available before (you could sign up for it in almost 50 countries), the expanded availability reflects the company’s drive to make Twitter Blue an increasingly important part of the service.

    Part of those efforts, however, includes making promises that it hasn’t kept yet. The company’s announcement tweets list some of the benefits of Twitter Blue, such as getting a checkmark, the ability to write longer tweets, getting prioritized ranking in conversations, and seeing half as many ads. Those last two, however, haven’t actually rolled out yet. When you click on the link to sign up for the service, they’re still listed as “Coming Soon.”

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  • Illustration showing Elon Musk in profile, in front of Twitter logos with a dollar sign inserted in place of the bird’s eye.

    Illustration showing Elon Musk in profile, in front of Twitter logos with a dollar sign inserted in place of the bird’s eye.

    a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Illustration: Laura Normand / The Verge

    On February 3rd, Elon Musk made a big announcement. “Starting today, Twitter will share ad revenue with creators for ads that appear in their reply threads,” he said, later adding that you’d have to be subscribed to Twitter Blue Verified to get your cut. We here at The Verge spent the rest of the day waiting for more information about the program or for official support documents going more in-depth on how the whole thing would work.

    After a month, it hasn’t appeared. Both the Twitter Blue and Twitter Creators accounts have been silent about the feature, it’s not mentioned on the Twitter Blue signup page, and Musk doesn’t appear to have brought it up since his initial announcement. I also wasn’t able to find anybody claiming that they’ve been making money from the feature. (If you or anyone you know has, please reach out!) As far as I can tell, the sum total of publicly available info on Twitter Blue’s ad revenue sharing is contained within Musk’s tweet about its launch.

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  • Twitter bird logo in white over a blue and purple background

    Twitter bird logo in white over a blue and purple background

    Twitter has launched a longer tweet feature, giving Blue subscribers in the US the ability to post up to 4,000 characters at once. If someone you follow uses the feature, the tweet in your timeline will have a “show more” button to keep it from taking up your entire screen.

    Currently, there are a few limitations to the feature (besides the big one that it’s behind a paywall). If your tweet is over the standard 280 characters, you can’t save it as a draft or schedule it for later. However, most other normal features should work as usual — you can add hashtags or pictures, and non-Blue subscribers will still be able to interact with the posts as normal.

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  • Twitter Blue’s verification blues.

    Washington Post columnist Geoffrey Fowler has again created a fake account for Sen. Ed Markey that was again verified as real by Twitter’s revamped authentication process:

    I expected Twitter would ask me to prove my identity… But no. After 7 days, a blue check mark appeared on the faux Markey account, no questions asked.

  • A screenshot showing a new badge available for Blue for Business subscribers.

    A screenshot showing a new badge available for Blue for Business subscribers.

    a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: Twitter

    Twitter has officially announced Blue for Business, a subscription geared toward companies that want to “verify and distinguish themselves on Twitter,” as its press release says. The service will let companies link their main accounts with those of their employees to make it easier to show that someone actually does work for them.

    The company is testing the service with “a select group of businesses,” including its own employees. Esther Crawford, director of product management at Twitter, has a little bird badge next to her blue checkmark that verifies her as an employee at the company, as you can see in this tweet of her announcing Blue for Business. Craft Ventures, a venture capital firm, also appears to have some employees marked as affiliates, using a badge with its logo.

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  • The Twitter bird logo in black over a white and blue background

    The Twitter bird logo in black over a white and blue background

    a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Elon Musk’s $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription with verification is officially available, and you’ll need a verified phone number to sign up.

    In a thread on Twitter, the platform notes that Blue will cost $11 per month if you sign up on iOS and will grant you access to the ability to edit tweets, upload 1080p videos, reader mode, and, of course, the coveted blue checkmark. If you paid for the old $4.99 / $2.99 Blue package, then you’ll need to subscribe again to keep its benefits, while anyone who signed up on Apple at the old $7.99 per month price will be automatically renewed at $11 per month unless they cancel.

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  • The Twitter checkmarks cometh.

    Twitter is gearing up to relaunch its verification program as soon as tomorrow, though the release could be pushed to early next week, I’m told. The plan is for a total of three checkmarks: the paid Twitter Blue subscription for a blue check (existing, non-paid blue checks will lose them 90 days post-launch if they don’t pay), a grey check designated for government accounts and managed by Twitter, and a gold check for advertisers.

    Based on what I’m hearing, Twitter is doing its best to avoid the impersonation fiasco that occurred after the brief rollout of paid verification before. This time, the plan is to temporarily remove an account’s blue check for seven days if the display name is changed. You’re welcome, Mario.

  • Elon Musk never responded to Senator Ed Markey’s questions on Twitter verification.

    Senator Markey gave Musk until November 25th to respond to his concerns about paid verification, but Markey says on Twitter that the billionaire didn’t provide any answers.

    Earlier this month, Markey warned Musk to “Fix your companies. Or Congress will,” after the two got into a spat on Twitter about fake verified accounts. In his most recent tweet, Markey calls on Congress to “pass laws that put user safety over the whims of billionaires.”

  • A black Twitter logo over a red illustration

    A black Twitter logo over a red illustration

    Elon Musk says that Twitter’s check mark program could return on Friday, December 2nd, with a new procedure to verify individual identities in order to resolve impersonation issues. Musk described the new manual authentication process as “painful, but necessary.” Verified check marks will also be expanded with additional colors — gold for companies, grey for the government, and the original blue for individual accounts.

    As it turns out, offering so-called verified check marks for an $8 monthly subscription without actually verifying identities wasn’t a brilliant idea. After Musk ignored warnings from Twitter’s own trust and safety staff, the platform’s paid Twitter Blue subscriptions rolled out and quickly resulted in some ‘verified’ accounts impersonating notable public figures and brands, driving away advertisers from the “high-risk” platform. Musk has since said that the company wouldn’t relaunch Twitter Blue until “we’re confident about significant impersonations not happening.”

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