Twitter Invents New Verification Checkmark

Twitter seems to be returning to previous plans around the verification check marks. Paid unverified check marks will be added, but Twitter also wants to roll out an extra check mark to recognize the authentic accounts of, for example, governments.

Just days after the first announcement of plans for a paid subscription to Twitter, the messaging service appears to be addressing some of the criticisms of those plans. For those lucky enough to have missed all the fuss: it revolves around (among other things) ‘blue checkmarks’, the check mark next to someone’s account name on Twitter.

Currently, only accounts whose identity has been verified by the company will receive such a checkmark. Therefore, the check marks are used by, for example, government organizations and public figures, as well as newspapers and journalists, to indicate that it is the real account, not a parody or imitation.

However, Elon Musk, who took over Twitter less than two weeks ago, has plans to expand the paid subscription to the service. Everyone could get a ‘blue tick’ for eight dollars a month. This was quickly criticized, including by users who are concerned about disinformation. For example, someone could impersonate Elon Musk and start spouting nonsense to confuse users.

Esther Crawford, who has to refresh the subscription service for Twitter, now says on the platform that she has plans for a second ‘official’ gray tick. That would be assigned to specific accounts after verification and is intended for “governments, commercial companies, business partners, major media companies, publishers and some public figures.” The function of the existing blue checkmark so that now just becomes a less hip gray. Anyone who wants the paying blue tick will not have to undergo identity checks.

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