In a recent update, X (formerly known as Twitter) has granted its subscribers the ability to conceal their blue checkmarks, a distinctive feature that signifies account verification. This move comes as part of a series of changes spearheaded by owner Elon Musk and newly-appointed X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who continue to redefine the subscription service’s offerings.
The transformation of the verification system was one of Musk’s initial steps after acquiring X. In its previous iteration, the checkmark was granted to noteworthy account holders to prevent impersonation, encompassing celebrities, politicians, and journalists.
Upon the implementation of the new X “Blue” subscription service, the verification process underwent a revamp. Subscribers were granted the coveted check mark upon subscribing to the service and linking their account with a phone number, effectively resetting the verification slate.
Now, X has introduced a new option for subscribers: the ability to choose whether or not to display their subscription badge. Although the rationale behind this choice remains unclear, X’s reputation for responding to inquiries with emojis adds an air of mystery. The accompanying Twitter Help page does, however, caution subscribers that while toggling the option, the checkmark may still be visible in certain contexts and specific features could inadvertently reveal an active subscription.
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
While the motivation behind this move remains elusive, a recent preprint research paper from a Princeton team sheds light on a potential pattern. The study, published in June 2023, discovered that accounts obtaining a Blue subscription following the verification changes were predominantly associated with engaging in “posting conservative political content, exhibiting positive views about Elon Musk, and promoting cryptocurrencies.”
Regrettably, the once-prestigious checkmark has seen its reputation tarnished due to its association with cryptocurrency scams, staunch extremist political stances, and the polarizing aura surrounding Elon Musk’s impact on the global technology landscape.
Now you can hide or show your Blue checkmark on iPhone
The reason why some people may want to do it is because there’re still people who block people with blue check marks (as blocking negatively affect visibility).
I’ll keep my check mark because it shows that I verified my… pic.twitter.com/ZLrNF6RXZK
— Kris Kashtanova (@icreatelife) August 2, 2023
In conclusion, X’s decision to provide subscribers with the choice to hide their blue checkmarks marks a noteworthy development in the platform’s evolution under the leadership of Elon Musk and Linda Yaccarino. As X continues to navigate the delicate balance between user privacy and online identity, the significance of the checkmark symbol undergoes a transformative shift in its portrayal and perception within the X community.