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Twitter’s Blue Checkmarks To Stop Being Useful ID Verification Tool In April

Starting April 1, Twitter will remove any blue checkmarks from accounts that were “verified” before Elon Musk’s takeover of the company, according to an announcement on Thursday. Anyone who currently has the blue checkmark and wants to keep it will need to sign up for Twitter Blue, a service that doesn’t actually do much beyond giving you a checkmark.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here,” Twitter said in a tweet.

The social media company directed any organizations that want to buy a checkmark to yet a different page—which speaks to just how confusing Twitter’s “verification” program has become under Musk. There are many different kinds of checkmarks with many different colors. There’s a gold badge for some businesses, while governments get a gray badge. It’s all a confusing mess, to say the least.

Twitter verification was originally launched because baseball legend Tony La Russa filed a lawsuit against the company way back in 2009. La Russa was unhappy about an impersonator account and verification simply meant any account with a blue checkmark had been verified as being owned by that notable figure.

But some right-wing media figures started to see the blue checkmark as a status symbol, leading for calls to be able to buy a checkmark when Musk bought the platform in October 2022. Musk’s rollout of the new Twitter Blue, which charges $8 per month or $11 per month on Apple devices, was a disaster, with several impersonator accounts pretending to be Apple, Tesla and Nintendo while posting highly offensive material.

One person even pretended to be drugmaker Eli Lily and announced insulin was going to be free, which sent the company’s stock plummeting. The company stopped allowing users to change their names, which created its own headaches for a number of reasons. Twitter doesn’t actually verify that anyone paying for Twitter Blue is who they say they are.

The checkmark’s actual purpose—verifying an account’s identity—will be completely dead in just a couple of weeks. Starting next month, anytime you see a blue checkmark you can rest assured of one thing: That person, whoever they may be in real life, has at least $8.