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Twitter starts pulling legacy blue verification checkmarks

You won't always know who's authentic.

Ilgmyzin on Unsplash

Twitter has talked about pulling legacy verified checkmarks for a while, and now it's acting on that plan. The social network has begun removing the original blue ticks from users' profiles — formerly verified staff at Engadget can confirm this. From now on, you'll need to pay $8 per month for Blue to get that symbol back. Businesses can receive a gold checkmark without a subscription, while government and multilateral organization accounts get a gray checkmark.

The company introduced verification in 2009 to reduce the potential for impersonation, and focused on well-established (though not necessarily famous) people in areas like politics, entertainment and the media. When Elon Musk bought Twitter in 2022, however, he claimed there were too many "corrupt" verified accounts and that it was necessary to drop the legacy system. He characterized Blue as a way to democratize checkmarks.

That's not how it panned out. Twitter had to pause and relaunch Blue after trolls abused the feature to impersonate notable figures, including Musk. The firm instituted a review process and barred sign-ups from accounts that had been around for less than 90 days. Gold and gray checkmarks restored some of those anti-impersonation measures, but many celebrities, journalists and similar personalities no longer have those protections.

Twitter has had other problems with user labels, too. Multiple major media organizations, including NPR and PBS, have left Twitter over objections to the social site's "government-funded media" designation. These outlets say the label falsely implies government influence over their content when they maintain strict editorial independence. The death of legacy checkmarks just underscores this conflict — critics are concerned that Twitter is eroding trust in its quest to earn more revenue from subscriptions.