A great many journalists – and politicians and celebrities – are very, very, very upset at losing their blue checks on Twitter, and being asked to pay €8 a month to have the privilege reinstalled.
Some of the outrage seems to be about having to pay for a (verified) presence on social media, but its likely also a reaction to feeling, for once, outside the establishment, or the golden circle, to which all these people belong for having all the right opinions.
MSNBC ridiculously said the move was going to cause a “lot of heartache”.
Morning Joe Loses It Over @ElonMusk's Twitter Blue Check System: "It's just absolute chaos…This is going to cause a lot of heartache."
Well, you can always pay the $8 for Twitter Blue. pic.twitter.com/Ir8AxlFzP5
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) April 21, 2023
CNN said that it was a ‘purge’ even though all the accounts of ‘journalists, academics and some celebrities’ all remained – just the blue checks had gone.
Elon Musk’s Twitter has begun a purge of blue verification checkmarks from users who have not signed up for its subscription service, with the checks disappearing from the accounts of journalists, academics and some celebrities https://t.co/I8HvrBFZGZ
— CNN (@CNN) April 20, 2023
Here’s journalist Julie Melner: maybe its a parody, she couldn’t be serious, could she?
As a former bluecheck journalist today is a difficult day. Despite my relatively low follower account I’ve been able to share verified information for important conversations. What Elon Musk did, removing blue checks, is no different than what the Nazi party did to journalists.
— Julie Melner (@UsingCigarettes) April 20, 2023
Elon thinks this is a funny joke. As a former verified account who lost their blue checkmark, I know how dangerous this really is. People are going to die. https://t.co/5HJkDLmko5
— Julie Melner (@UsingCigarettes) April 20, 2023
And this Irish journalist says if you pay for a blue check you are likely insane.
So basically someone having a blue tick has gone from meaning "possibly worth a tiny bit of your attention" to instead meaning "this person is likely insane"
— Cianan Brennan (@ciananbrennan) April 20, 2023
Other journalists also did not take the news well.
Today proves yet again that you can’t buy class but you can buy a blue check mark.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) April 21, 2023
No more #BlueCheckMark. No longer ‘verified’. I guess that means this account isn’t really me, or is it? But is the person who fakes my name on an account and buys ‘verification’ really me? So, the ‘verified’ me isn’t me, but the non-verified me is actually me. Makes sense. 🤦🏻
— Don Bradshaw (@DonBradshawNTV) April 21, 2023
Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times seemed to think that Elon Musk was relying on him to boost traffic on Twitter.
I have lost my blue tick because I am not tick enough to pay @elonmusk for the privilege of bringing traffic to his platform.
— Fintan O'Toole (@fotoole) April 20, 2023
It wasn’t just journalists of course, lots of politicians and ‘celebs’ are also absurdly upset. Here’s Bette Midler having a meltdown.
Elon took my blue check away! I’m unverified! After all these years and thousands of tweets and free content, this worm has the nerve to de-certify me!
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) April 20, 2023
Elon, deciding that I’m not me, I’m a fake, & obliging ME, who has contributed mightily to your platform, (at least until you “tweaked the algorithm & tanked my metrics”) to pay monthly because you don’t have enough money & you’re humiliated b/c everyone thinks you’re a pathetic
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) April 21, 2023
And Alyssa Milano wailed that Musk might be liable for defamation if someone pretended to be her and ‘said a bunch of bullshit.’
So by revoking my blue check mark because I wouldn’t pay some arbitrary fee, someone can just be me and say a bunch of bullshit. Does that mean Twitter and @elonmusk are liable for defamation or identity theft or fraud?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 20, 2023
And the ever-reliable AOC lamenting the ability of wealthy politicians and government departments to pay $8 a month.
Jokes aside, this is setting the stage for major potential harm when a natural disaster hits and no one knows what agencies, reporters, or outlets are real.
Not long ago we had major flash floods. We had to mobilize trusted info fast to save lives. Today just made that harder https://t.co/bAG8ayBTa6
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 20, 2023
Anyway, it was a ‘grab the popcorn’ moment for most people who don’t give a toss about blue checks one way or the other.
There are grown adults having a meltdown on Twitter over a blue tick. pic.twitter.com/KcrjQ5THlV
— Oisín Murphy🇮🇪 🇨🇭 (@Oismur) April 20, 2023
And others argued that the new system worked better.
On Twitter 1.0, the blue check system served as a de facto caste system. Now it's an honest way to pay for the edit button and better protection vs. impersonation, rather than a symbol of status.
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) April 21, 2023