Twitter users have expressed concern about impersonation after the latest update to Twitter Blue. The new version has rendered many Canadian politicians, celebrities, including NDP Leader Jagmeet, Justin Bieber, and Drake, checkless.
On April 20, Twitter owner Elon Musk decided to remove “legacy” verified status — a free feature that was used to legitimize credible news sources, politicians, celebrities and more, through a blue checkmark next to one’s title. Twitter Blue is now available to anyone who pays $8 a monthly and verifies their phone number.
Travis Brown of Berlin, a developer of social media tracking software, noted that after about 24 hours the new model was not much different, other than stripping some of their blue checkmarks.
Many are worried that impersonators will be able to easily get away with it, as there are so few people who have a blue checkmark. This allows for fake accounts to be used to fool the public. It is up to the reader to determine if they are reading from a genuine source.
Canadian politicians lose blue checkmark
Canadians pay attention to who pays $8 per year to keep their status as “blue checkmarks” on social media sites.
Pierre Poilievre is the only one of Canada’s four main party leaders who stands out.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau currently has a grey checkmark, a free feature that indicates that the account “represents a government/multilateral organization or a government/multilateral official.” Poilievre’s account does not have the grey checkmark, which is given to “parliamentary or similar institutional and committee accounts.” according to Twitter’s guidelines.
The gold checkmark is for “official business accounts through Twitter Verified Organizations.”
Since Friday afternoon, many prominent Canadian politicians, celebrities, and media outlets have become check-less. This includes Toronto-based news channel CP24, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford. who according to CTV NewsTwitter Blue Verification Services will be “free.”
What is Twitter Blue?
Twitter Blue is the “premium subscription” service of the social media website, as Musk looks to overhaul its “corrupted” predecessor. The service allows users to access features like editing Tweets, NFT Profile Pictures and publishing longer texts and videos.
Twitter Blue users receive a blue tick next to their name. It was previously a feature available to Twitter users who had completed the free verification process. The purpose of this was to verify that the person listed as the account holder was the actual account holder.
Twitter Blue is available for personal accounts only after users pay $8 and confirm their phone numbers. On Twitter’s websiteThe blue checkmark will be removed if you make any changes to your username, display name (@handle), or profile photo.
Musk has confirmed his involvement in the project since the unveiling of this new model. footing the bill for some celebrities’ Twitter Blue statusLeBron James and William Shatner, as well as Stephen King had all previously stated that they would not be paying for the movie.
Halle Berry and Ben Stiller are among the celebrities who have tweeted that they no longer have their checkmarks.
However, many are also voicing their concern over impersonation efforts, like what was recently seen in Chicago, where fake accounts tricked many into believing that a major thoroughfare was closing to private traffic next month — tweets that were viewed by over 100,000 users.
Other people are worried that similar situations could occur in times of crisis. For example, during severe weather warnings when the public relies heavily on Twitter for urgent information.
Many people are sceptical that the Twitter era will last. They foresee class actions lawsuits due to impersonators.
Other people also want a different model, in which free verification isn’t lumped together with Twitter Blue. Twitter Blue provides extra features on the social networking site.