Twitter will remove all older, verified, legacy blue checkmarks from various profiles over the next few months. Calling the previous process through which verification badges were awarded corrupt and nonsensical, Elon Musk tweeted that legacy verified badges will hold no value.
Before Musk bought Twitter, checkmarks were used to verify individuals and entities as active, authentic, and notable accounts of interest. On Monday, the social media platform relaunched its Twitter Blue subscription plan after a dicey first attempt. The subscription gives anyone willing to shell out $8 per month (or $11 per month on iOS) a blue checkmark next to their name, fewer ads on their timeline, boosted posts, and other features.
For the last couple of weeks, many verified blue badge holders have seen a pop-up when they click on their blue checkmark that reads, “This is a legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”
Twitter is still working out the kinks of this controversial revenue stream. The company also updated its terms to specify that users must verify phone numbers before purchasing Twitter Blue. Users also won’t be able to change their username, display name, or profile picture seven days before buying the plan.
The new plan for Twitter is to issue badges in three different colors – gold, grey and blue, along with labels where it would be necessary. For example, the golden badge will be for companies and other organizations, whereas the grey badge will be reserved for government agencies. The existing blue badge will be reserved for individuals, whether they are celebrities or not.
Twitter has also warned that if paying subscribers of Twitter do change any of these identifiers, their blue check will be taken away from them, and they will have to apply again so that Twitter can re-verify them. That extra-cautious move seems to result from the initial rollout of Twitter Blue, which resulted in rampant, and often hilarious, account impersonations.