Twitter recently announced that it would start removing blue check marks from accounts that haven’t paid for its new service, Twitter Blue, beginning April 1. However, users claim their blue checks are still visible despite not paying for the new subscription service.
In another twist, on April 4, Twitter replaced its classic blue bird icon on some accounts with the popular online icon of a Shiba Inu dog, commonly called “Doge.” This change was made days after Elon Musk confirmed the update on his Twitter account. The Doge icon is closely associated with Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency; its value increased by over 30% following the change to Twitter’s logo.
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Twitter’s old blue check verification system was based on accounts the company vetted and deemed “active, notable, and authentic.” Now, anyone can pay $8 monthly to get the badge as long as they meet the company’s eligibility requirements.
Accounts with a legacy blue checkmark display a new message when the icon clicks: “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.” This message makes it difficult to differentiate between accounts verified under Twitter’s old rules and those that have paid for the blue check through Twitter Blue.
Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, has argued that Twitter Blue aims to treat all accounts equally and not provide preferential treatment. However, experts warn that the new verification standards may increase the spread of misinformation.
Some high-profile individuals and organizations, such as NBA star LeBron James and news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico, have said that they will not pay for the blue check, with some claiming that it no longer represents credibility and authenticity since anyone can purchase it.
Twitter Blue costs $8 per month or $84 for an annual subscription and offers features such as editing tweets and enabling two-factor authentication through text messages. Accounts paying for the blue check must meet specific eligibility requirements, including having a profile image and name that weren’t recently changed and are older than 30 days.