The blue check on our social media accounts has been known as a verification of authenticity—meaning, we know that our favorite celebrities and public figures are the real deal. The point of this icon was to prevent impersonators and make sure we knew we weren’t following fan accounts. But just about two weeks ago, Elon Musk announced that Twitter users would now be able to purchase the verified check for $7.99 a month.
Of course, this is a questionable move on Musk’s part — not that we were expecting any more from the man who lost his brain cells with his hair. Anyway, the whole point of the check wasn’t for aesthetics, but to ensure that important figures (like politicians) were authentic. Once you let people simply buy themselves a check for the sake of it, it loses its meaning. In addition, it is extremely skewed towards the upper classes. $7.99 per month just to have a blue check next to your ID is simply ridiculous. Even if $7.99 doesn’t seem like a lot, that adds up to more than $100 per year just to flaunt your ability to spend money on useless items.
Even though Musk announced on 11/25 that the check would now have different colors to distinguish individuals from actual public figures and corporations (gold for verified corporations, gray for government, and all individuals as blue), it doesn’t alleviate the situation at all. Celebrity impersonation has just become a lot easier instead. This also means that the iconic blue check is now going to be remembered as a symbol of wealth.
At the same time, I understand why Musk is trying to profit off of the verification mark. Though Twitter is huge, it isn’t as big as the other social media companies like Meta. Musk probably figured that some people will be rich and desperate enough for the check that he created this offer. However, that doesn’t mean I agree with Musk’s actions. I don’t doubt a bit that this will earn him and Twitter a bit more money. Because as stupid as this whole offer is, I strongly believe that people will buy into this.