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Elon Musk’s Twitter: The Chaos for Paid Verification, Blue Tick, and Status as a Service
Elon Musk is the new god of Twitter!
On a personal level, I want to ask Elon to take a 4-weeks vacation and give all the users a bit of space to take a breath from the chaos called Twitter.
Twitter was a platform where people used to document their thoughts, opinions, and knowledge. As a bonus, they got some people who would vibe with them and have fun - it was an escape from daily life for most.
Things changed when the “creator economy” took over. A good chunk of the platform was filled with the “information” that might not help many but seems like “helpful” - even then it was bearable.
Yes, users were feeding algorithms, but a few percentages of the algorithm also liked raw, unhinged tweets which made Twitter bearable for most.
We all were only accepting that new change when on a random day, Elon decided to make “Twitter” his fun side-project. If you want to learn, what you should NOT do to your side-project, then learn everything Elon is doing.
Now, with the blue tick, affiliate badge, etc., and the algorithm filled with all kinds of bugs - every user gets a new guidebook for using Twitter every time Elon tweets something.
Making Twitter's algorithm open-source was another stunt!
While having a conversation with a friend, she mentioned "how making Twitter chaos" might be a similar stunt to the one he pulled in the demo of the Tesla Cybertruck!
It was a marketing stunt and most understood later but when it was happening, it looked too real.
Anyway, blue tick exists for years and it didn’t bother anyone this much. However, making it a monetization model is a decision that doesn’t make sense to most.
Verification tick or blue tick used to be a symbol used on social media platforms to indicate that a particular account is authentic and belongs to a public figure, celebrity, or brand.
It means finding an official account of Emma Stone from the 100s of fake/fan accounts was easier.
However, this changed when Elon pushed out a new feature called Twitter Blue. You get a blue tick for $8/month.
Before, we get too much into the why, what, and how of Twitter Blue, let’s understand how these ticks came into the picture.
A short history of blue ticks -
Facebook was the first platform that launched its verification system in 2008. Twitter followed and launched its verification in 2009.
Facebook's verification system was designed to verify the accounts of high-profile public figures, such as celebrities and politicians, and was called "Facebook Verified Pages".
The verification badge on Facebook was initially a red checkmark, which was later replaced by a blue badge in 2015 to match the color scheme of Facebook's website.
Whereas Twitter’s verification was initially only available to a select group of high-profile individuals, such as politicians, celebrities, and athletes. In 2016, Twitter opened up the verification process to all users, allowing them to apply for verification by providing personal information and supporting documents.
Other social media platforms, such as Instagram, and TikTok, have also implemented their verification programs in which accounts are authenticated and given a verification badge or tick to indicate their authenticity.
Getting verified on social media used to be a celebratory moment, but not anymore!
Why verification badge at all?
The purpose of the verification tick was to help users identify authentic accounts and reduce the risk of impersonation, misinformation, and online fraud. It also provides a level of credibility to public figures, brands, and organizations on social media.
Twitter, no more, aligns with this purpose.
However, keeping the credibility over popularity, we at Peerlist provide a green tick. Here when we say, green tick, we don’t differentiate between public figures, personal branding, etc. We simply want you to verify your professional and educational background, and get a verified badge.
We want to showcase that whatever organization you have mentioned on your profile has been verified and anyone connecting with you, be it a recruiter, investor, or a peer from the community, know it.
When a peer connects with you, you can build connections and not worry about scams/frauds, etc.
Have you verified your Peerlist profile yet?
The essential part is all these are still free and based upon “if the profile matches the criteria” except Twitter.
And it leads us to our next question.
What is the impact of selling blue verification ticks on the credibility and effectiveness of the verification system?
In November last year, when Twitter launched its new policies of verification badges, a lot of fake accounts paid for it and exposed the reality of the badge, they did get banned afterward. However, it was enough to show the real picture.
The verification tick is intended to provide a way for users to identify authentic and verified pages of public figures, celebrities, and brands. Selling verification ticks open up the possibility for fake pages and accounts to be verified, which would ultimately harm the authenticity and trustworthiness of the system - which has already happened multiple times.
Selling verification ticks also create an unfair advantage for those who can afford to pay for them, as opposed to those who genuinely meet the criteria for verification. It undermines the merit-based nature of the verification system and would be unfair to those who have worked hard to build their public profile or brand.
In conclusion, paid blue verification tick does dilute the purpose of the verification system and undermines its credibility.
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