It’s 4:20 Somewhere: Legacy Blue Checks Begin to Disappear on Twitter

It’s 4:20 Somewhere: Legacy Blue Checks Begin to Disappear on Twitter

After weeks of wondering when Elon Musk would remove legacy verification checkmarks from notable users, the announcement that it would happen on 4/20, Elon’s favourite number, actually seemed like a good bet. And like clockwork, early on Thursday afternoon, the legacy checks began to disappear, and reappear, and disappear again. Maybe someone’s high at Twitter HQ.

One user compared the removal to the photograph at the end of Back to the Future since his blue checkmark was flickering in and out of existence as it remained stuck in a Lovecraftian realm of both existence and non-existence.

My own checkmark experienced the same fate, quickly appearing and disappearing every time I refreshed the page, only for it to fully disappear unceremoniously. It has not returned. The Schrödinger checkmarks clearly point to some issues on Twitter’s end which is to be expected on a platform that is haemorrhaging money while being held together with digital duct tape. Last month, former Twitter employees warned that removing the checks could cause unforeseeable technical difficulties.

While Twitter continues to tear verification checkmarks from the hands of those who earned them for free, it’s become increasingly clear that legitimate verification hasn’t gone away completely. Twitter has not done away with its Verified tab in Notifications, which collects replies, likes, and retweets from verified accounts. Legacy verified users are still showing up in the Verified tab, indicating that Twitter may not have actually removed the verified status of accounts, it’s just hiding the checks. That would mean legacy users are still getting algorithmic preference, and they don’t have to be associated with people who actually pay Elon Musk for Twitter.

When asked for comment on the removal of the checkmarks and the ominous flickering, Twitter’s press office told Gizmodo “💩.”

Musk initially announced that Twitter would be pulling the checkmarks on April Fools Day, which is not suspicious timing at all. April 1st came and went and all we got was Musk making it harder to distinguish between the idiots who paid for a Twitter Blue and those who didn’t. After today, we’ll have a clearer picture of who the real idiots are.

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