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1 Apr 2023
Giselle Ruhiyyih Ewing

NextImg:April fools? The Twitter blue check apocalypse that wasn’t

Verified Twitter users who said goodbye to their coveted blue check marks overnight awoke Saturday morning to a surprise — the blue checks were still there, leading some to suggest an elaborate April Fools’ prank was at play.

On March 23, Twitter announced that it would phase out the old system of verification and strip legacy verified accounts of their blue checks starting April 1, making the former symbol of authenticity available for purchase without verification for $8 through the app’s new “Twitter Blue” function.

The new pay-to-verify policy raised concerns when Twitter owner Elon Musk debuted Twitter Blue in November 2022, causing immediate chaos on the platform.

Without any weight behind the symbol of authentication that the blue check mark provided, any Twitter user could hypothetically pay to impersonate a public figure or company.

In the days leading up to Saturday’s supposed blue check apocalypse, legacy verified accounts from Lebron James to Monica Lewinsky tweeted out against the new policy.

Major news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN, announced this week that they would not pay for staff members to maintain a blue check status. The White House sent an email to staffers informing them that it would not pay for Twitter Blue.

Former vice president of global commerce and media at Twitter, Nathan Hubbard, tweeted on Friday that phasing out verification was a “risky” policy change and that, “If most OG blue checks stop tweeting in protest of being asked to pay to create the content that Twitter lives by…Twitter dies.”

After previously tweeting that “paid account social media will be the only social media that matters,” Musk was noticeably silent Saturday on the lack of discernible change in the app’s interface, only retweeting an advertisement first posted by Tesla’s company account and an old photograph of himself with the caption, “Me after 1 day of not eating sugar.”

Twitter’s communications office was unreachable for comment.

And as of noon on April Fools’ Day, the previously verified blue checks remained.