Twitter's Blue Tick Restored to High Profile Accounts

    Twitter's Blue Tick Restored to High Profile Accounts
    Last updated Apr 25, 2023
    Image credit: Zoe Kleinman/BBC


    • In a U-turn over its verification policy, Twitter is restoring the blue tick to media, celebrity, and other high-profile accounts on the social network for free.[1]
    • Accounts belonging to Katy Perry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyoncé are among those who got their blue ticks back over the weekend.[2]
    • The news follows Twitter's recent purge of tens of thousands of accounts of their "legacy" verification ticks — a policy Elon Musk announced after his $44B takeover last October.[3]
    • The blue tick was previously a badge of verification given for free by Twitter as a tool of authentication, designed to help stop fake accounts and the spread of misinformation. The introduction of Twitter Blue — by which blue ticks have to be paid for — has prompted outrage online, with critics accusing Twitter of attempting to profiteer.[4]
    • The site's decision to reinstate the "verified" status for free for celebrity users has also led to criticism over alleged false advertising since the boilerplate disclaimer inaccurately describes their status as being granted "because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue."[1]
    • Some accounts of deceased celebrities, including that of famous chef Anthony Bourdain, also received a blue tick verification, while many official media accounts additionally regained their ticks without subscribing to Twitter Blue.[5]


    Narrative A

    Twitter's blue-tick verification system used to be a respected status symbol, but Elon Musk's farcical management has turned it into a laughing stock. Were it not enough on its own that the company's new owner is attempting to convince the world of a fundamental oxymoron — that free speech equates to subscription fees — prominent names are now being given preferential treatment by having their verification reinstated for free. There is no way of defending what's happening to the social media platform.

    Narrative B

    Charging for Twitter verification protects the platform, its users, and free speech. Musk's decision to introduce a subscription fee for blue ticks has been controversial, but something had to be done about the lack of Twitter's profitability — the reason it was up for sale in the first place. Also, identification features used by the likes of Facebook are mostly missing from Twitter, hence the huge numbers of bots on the site. For $8 per month, Musk is saving the company's finances, making bot accounts less relevant, and countering censorship by leveling the verification playing field.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that Elon Musk will be succeeded as CEO of Twitter by November 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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