When I heard that Twitter was going to open the blue checkmark up to anyone willing to pay $8/month, I was happy.
As a legacy holder of the checkmark there’s a slight band-aid-sting of the check indicating specialness—who doesn’t want to feel special?—but I’d much rather see a mutual platform benefit than sit atop a dungheap. And giving everyone verification is a clear platform benefit. So I’m for it.
Apparently Twitter's new verification won't require any identity verification, just a monthly payment. If that's the case we're going to see an influx of criminals buying accounts with stolen credit cards to engage in spam and impersonation. https://t.co/NyMvswErni— Marcus Hutchins (@MalwareTechBlog) November 3, 2022
Keep in mind this reporting could be wrong and verification could still be part of the plan.
Except, no, it doesn’t look like they’re opening up verification. According to this analysis above they’re:
- Removing verification
- Removing the validation of being a public persona
- Charging $8/month for it
I guess you could argue that Twitter having money will meta-help Twitter in the future.
So we haven’t gained anything for the community. In fact I’d argue we’ve lost a lot. One of the biggest features of the blue check—not just on Twitter but on any social media platform—is disambiguation from copycats. If the analysis above is true and correct, we lose that. Now it’s just blue checks everywhere.
Which would be fine if that was the case for validated non-public people—the more the better. But they’re not validated. In sum, this is less validation, and more blue checks. Seemingly all in the name of revenue.
If this is true, the effects will be:
- Malicious actors paying negligible costs to attain credibility with their victims
- Devaluation of the checkmark (it used to mean you were confirmed to be a real human, at least)
- Some more revenue for Twitter
I don’t believe #3 makes #1 or #2 worth it, and it looks like we’re about to find out.