Twitter Gives Verified Users Option to Hide Their Checkmark of Shame

Twitter Gives Verified Users Option to Hide Their Checkmark of Shame

Twitter—which Elon Musk has desperately tried to convince users is now called “X”—wants users to display their $US8 a month blue checkmark prominently on their page. Unfortunately for those who pay up, that checkmark has become a kind of Scarlet Letter analog that many app denizens use to denote a Musk bootlicker, or worse, or much worse. Now Twitter is telling those folks who want to support Musk plunging the platform into hell that they can hide their mark of shame.

Early on Tuesday, Twitter added a note about the “Hide your blue tick” toggle on the platform’s verification help page. This makes it so the blue checkmark no longer appears next to accounts’ profile pages or their posts. The site still notes that using Blue features could still identify you as a paid subscriber and that some features may not be available at all while the mark is hidden. The feature is available in the users’ Profile customisation tab in account settings.

The blue check grants users features like the option to edit posts, a 10,000-character limit, 50% fewer ads, and—more importantly for those with a brand message—prioritised ranking in conversations and search. To incentivise more people to pay the $8 verification fee, Musk tried handing out free verification to some legacy verified accounts and celebrities such as author and consistent Musk-critic Stephen King.

Back in May, Twitter changed the blue checkmark labels to no longer mention if the verification was paid for, or granted courtesy of Musk. This also had the added effect of disrupting online campaigns like #BlockTheBlue which tried to dampen the reach of some of these verified accounts.

Twitter’s not the only one doing blue checks. Meta platforms Facebook and Instagram have also added a paid verification subscription. But for Twitter, the issue has routinely been who decides to pay for the subscription. Extreme far-right personalities such as alleged human trafficker Andrew Tate have overtaken the blue check. Some are actively making money from the platform thanks to their verified status. And actively blocking Blue subscribers has become something of a sport.

With this move, Musk has allowed the host of bad actors paying for verification to hide the fact they’re paying for boosted messaging. Considering how the platform has sued hate speech researchers who pointed out Twitter’s harmful metrics, the billionaire Twitter owner seems to think the best way to hide all the worst parts of his site is to sweep them under the rug.

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