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Well, Twitter was fun while it lasted.
Today (on 4/20 of all days!) Elon Musk has officially withdrawn blue checkmarks.
Let’s pour out one for all the little blue birds who have lost their wings today.
Yes, millions of Verified Twitter users no longer have the checkmark that allowed others to know they were in fact who they said they were. The only way to get them back is to pay an $8 monthly fee that allows for the blue checkmark as well as a variety of features such as two-factor authentication, longer videos, an edit button, and longer character limits.
Everyone was affected from Hillary Clinton to Harry Styles to even the Pope!
Oh no, not the Pope!
MUSK IS DOING ANYTHING TO TRY AND BRING IN MONEY
All joking aside, the checkmark was actually pretty important because more times than not it meant that the person who was tweeting had some sort of credibility to them. In this age of fake news, bots, disinformation and misinformation, that actually matters – especially as Twitter continues to come under increasing scrutiny.
For his part, Elon Musk is doing anything and everything to try and make money as the company tries to pay off a reported $12.5 million in debt. In doing so however, he has created a platform that has become confusing (what the hell is the For You / Following tab?) as well as extremely frustrating with an algorithm that doesn’t make sense.
ELON’S TWITTER GAMBLE
Personally, I don’t think Elon fully realizes what he’s done.
He has cheapened what made having a checkmark ‘special’ in the first place by allowing any mouth breather living in their parents basement to be verified. He’s opened up the floodgates to have every narcissistic, annoying, jealous person have validation in their pathetic lives.
Just as Bud Light’s reputation is getting crushed, Twitter may find itself in the same laughing boat.
It’s now “not cool” to pay for Blue. And as we’ve learned time and time again – once you lose the Internet, you lose everything.
For those that do end up paying for Blue, its an immediate invitation to getting ridiculed and actually having the REVERSE EFFECT of being a legitimate voice on manners. Countless “Well, you paid for Blue so your point doesn’t matter,” digs have already been used to immediately dismiss people’s views.
Case in point – LeBron James.
The hypocrite who said he would never pay for Twitter Blue apparently now does. He’s getting smoked right now over his flip-flopping. Elon is banking that others will follow suit and eventually succumb to paying but frankly, I’m not sure a lot are going to want to deal with getting ripped like James currently is. It may not be worth it.
When Musk originally took over, many – including myself – praised him for his free speech rhetoric and how he would make the platform more legitimate than ever before.
That hasn’t happened. Instead, it’s been chaos with Musk even losing one of his staunchest supporters in that helped expose the cesspool of corruption the platform was before Musk’s takeover, Matt Taibi.
One has to wonder however with TikTok all but sure to eventually be banned, has Big Tech and the powers that be won a decisive victory over freedom?