There was a time when having a coveted blue check mark on Twitter was a useful tool for readers to understand who was providing them with information. That when the Rock tweeted bin Laden was dead, you knew it was coming from him.
Those times are gone. Now anyone with eight bucks can pay for what was once a privilege.
Since Elon Musk announced that Twitter would start selling verification, many have vowed to never do so, even if it means losing their blue check mark. Prominent right-wing accounts have no such qualms. They’re rushing to pay the $8 monthly fee to attain what was once only accessible to people the platform (arguably arbitrarily) deemed prominent.
The list of newly minted verified conservatives—”peasants,” in Musk’s words—includes killers, hate mongers, and at least one feline defecation.
It’s easy to tell the difference between accounts that paid for verification. Simply click on the check mark next to their screen name. If they paid for it, a message appears that reads, “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue.”
If they didn’t, the message says, “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” This applies even if the account also subscribes to Twitter Blue.
Even some who’ve purchased verification think it’s ridiculous.
“Ok this is bullshit. I paid the $8 and it automatically verified me and added a blue check. No actual verification. I just bought the blue check. Which means anyone can just buy it. Absolute BS,” tweeted one.
Prominent conservative activists have jumped at the chance to get what they were denied regardless of how the new system works.
Libs of TikTok and Gays Against Groomers are two. Both of the accounts, which have each been suspended multiple times, paid for verification since Twitter rolled it out.
The accounts, run by Chaya Raichik and Jaimee Michell respectively, have been a driving force behind the rising wave of hate and abuse directed at LGBTQ people.
Acquitted killer Kyle Rittenhouse also paid for verification. After forking over his $8, Rittenhouse actually thanked Musk for the privilege of paying for a small blue checkmark.
When someone called him a “fucking loser,” Rittenhouse retorted, “You must not have noticed the blue checkmark. I’m elite now!”
The conservative account Catturd also paid to verify its account. Its decision to do is arguably notable because just last week Catturd complained that it was “100% wrong about @elonmusk changing Twitter” because he’d consulted with civil rights leaders about hate speech on the platform.
Like Rittenhouse, Catturd celebrated paying Musk to get verified.
“I got a blue check just to piss off snobby blue checks who think they’re better than me—and the more they cry about, the happier I become,” it tweeted.
The new system isn’t just a boon to those who’ve long salivated for that coveted status. It’s already proving irresistible to people with $8 and a desire to impersonate prominent individuals and accounts.
Musk, as always, is tweeting through it.