Check marks become symbol of punishment on Twitter today

Check marks — The verification check marks on Twitter is a process by which Twitter verifies the authenticity of an account and confirms that it belongs to the person or entity it claims to represent.

This verification is indicated by a blue check mark next to the account’s name on Twitter.

The purpose of this process is to help users identify the authenticity of the account and to prevent impersonation or misrepresentation.

To be eligible for verification, an account must meet certain criteria, including being active, complete, and public, as well as meeting Twitter’s guidelines for verification.

The verification process involves submitting an application to Twitter and providing documentation to support the request.

However, ever since Tesla CEO Elon Musk took over the social media giant, the blue check marks have taken a new turn.

What happened?

Days earlier, Twitter removed the check marks from VIP users and prominent organizations.

However, the check marks reappeared on high-profile accounts, with many of the users saying they didn’t ask for it or want a new verification badge.

Several accounts of deceased figures have also been noted to receive their verification marks, leaving many to question how many badges Twitter is distributing without charging the users.

A declining value

The recent Twitter check mark situation highlighted how Elon Musk eroded the value of the blue check.

It is especially noteworthy that he is working to drive subscription revenue for the company following a massive drop in the core advertising business.

The blue check mark had once been an online status symbol that authenticated influential accounts.

However, the symbol has evolved into a source of confusion due to Musk’s decision to monetize it.


This past weekend, several high-profile figures announced that they were punished with verification check marks.

Several celebrities and key figures like authors Neil Geiman and Stephen King expressed difficulties getting the check marks removed.

The celebrity backlash and Twitter’s decision to restore some badges at its own expense only highlighted the gaps in Musk’s plan and execution.

Additionally, it showed how out of the loop Musk is from celebrity users who produced content to help keep the social media platform popular.

Read also: Apple thieves target passcodes before snatching iPhones

The cost

Ironically, Elon Musk slammed the company’s legacy approach in 2022, which verified celebrities, news organizations, and government accounts.

“Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or who doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” he said in November 2022.

“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.”

The new Twitter CEO then rolled out a paid verification option as part of the subscription product Twitter Blue.

He also removed legacy blue check marks from accounts, leading to consequences like waves of impersonation and potential for new scams and misinformation.

Musk’s attempts to address the errors only prompted him to make a u-turn, implementing the system he previously criticized.

However, things are different today as Elon Musk is at the helm, making verification less transparent.

Rather than symbolizing authenticity, Twitter verification is now riddled with conflicting messages.

For some, it reflects a loyalty pledge and support for the direction Musk is guiding the company.

Meanwhile, those who received a badge without asking for it view the check mark as a symbol of shame or embarrassment.

Others, however, consider it a mark of gullibility.


Independent researcher Travis Brown has kept tabs on the tally of paying Twitter users.

The past few days had a net increase of 12,000 Twitter Blue accounts, mounting to 551,517.

Before going private, the figures showed more than 237 million active users.

Several big-name users refused to pay, and Musk explained he was personally covering their subscriptions.

Last weekend, several check marks were restored, appearing on influential users who claimed they didn’t pay for them.

A fading symbol

Elon Musk’s initial plan seemed to depend on leveraging verification’s current cachet as a status symbol to increase subscriptions.

While there were other features in the subscription product, the verification option was the main driver.

However, changing the meaning of the verification transformed the check mark’s value proposition.

Supporters of the new system criticized those opposed to it.

Subscription services coming to Meta, Twitter 2FA given change

Subscription serviceUsers are already upset about another significant change Mark Zuckerberg announced for Facebook and Instagram on Sunday.

According to reports, the CEO of Meta said that the company is testing a premium subscription service that verifies users of Facebook and Instagram.

The stunning story comes after Twitter said it will begin charging users for SMS two-factor authentication.

The news

Zuckerberg stated in his introduction that the subscription service would be called “Meta Verified.”

Customers will pay $11.99 per month so they can use this service.

However, the monthly service costs $14.99 for iOS users.

This week will see the launch of Meta Verified, with Australia and New Zealand getting a peek before other countries.

Meta Verified

The subscription service that Meta provides is more than simply a status symbol.

Also, it offers advantages including stronger protection against imposter accounts.

Furthermore, Meta Verified gives customers quick access to customer service.

When a customer uses the subscription service, they are issued a blue badge that allows them to verify that they are indeed the user.

Any person who wants to use the subscription must be at least 18 years old and have a government ID that perfectly matches their profile name and photo.


Meta Verified was announced by Mark Zuckerberg on an Instagram broadcast channel, where he wrote:

“This new feature is about increasing authenticity and security across our services.”

Everyone was shocked by the sudden revelation, but Meta clarified to calm things down.

The social media behemoth asserted that the new subscription service wouldn’t have an effect on verified accounts, which were previously only available to authentic, well-known people.

“We are evolving the meaning of the blue badge to focus on authenticity so we can expand verification access to more people,” said a Meta spokesperson.

“We will display follower count in more places so people can distinguish which accounts are notable public figures among accounts that share the same name.”

A league of their own

The company’s usage of subscription services puts Meta Verified in the same category as other platforms like:

  • Discord
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Among all the websites with their own membership services, Twitter is the one that provoked the most controversy.

Twitter Blue

Elon Musk and Twitter revived Twitter Blue in December, a subscription service for verification.

The service had been active up until a flood of bogus “verified” accounts caused the company to discontinue the feature.

To make it easier to identify between multiple accounts, Twitter has also introduced new colors for various check box options, including:

  • Gold checks for companies
  • Gray checks for government organizations and affiliates
  • Blue checks for individuals, celebrities or non-celebrities

Users of Android and iOS may subscribe to the platform for $11 per month with Twitter Blue.

When Elon Musk purchased the company in late 2022 for $44 billion, his objective was to grow the number of users.

Read also: Twitter to deal with more rivals in 2023 developed by former employees

Two-factor authentication 

When Twitter said last week that it was reevaluating how it handled two-factor authentication, it caused a stir.

According to the press release, SMS messages are a two-factor authentication method that is only available to Twitter Blue members.

Only 2.6% of Twitter users had 2FA enabled as of 2021, according to a study done by Twitter Account Security.

Just 74.4% of consumers utilized SMS authentication, however.

As of March 20, non-Blue users have two more, cost-free alternatives for authenticating their log-ins:

  • A security key
  • A mobile authentication app

The announcement was made on Twitter on February 15 in a blog post that stated:

“Instead of only entering a password to log in, 2FA requires you to also enter a code or use a security key. This additional step helps make sure that you, and only you, can access your account.”

“While historically a popular form of 2FA, unfortunately we have seen phone-number based 2FA be used – and abused – by bad actors.”

“So starting today, we will no longer allow accounts to enroll in the text message/SMS method of 2FA unless they are Twitter Blue subscribers.”

“Non-Twitter Blue subscribers that are already enrolled will have 30 days to disable this method and enroll in another.”

“We encourage non-Twitter Blue subscribers to consider using an authentication app or security key method instead.”

“These methods require you to have a physical possession of the authentication method and are a great way to ensure your account is secure.”