The Unexpected Rise of Twitter Blue Snobbery

It’s safe to say that Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter some months back sparked controversy and debate.  I’m not going to get into all that in this blog post, but I do want to talk about something I’ve noticed as being on the rise in recent days, the subject of Twitter Blue snobbery.

This last week Twitter, under the instruction of Musk, removed the blue verification tick from all accounts that had been granted one previously.  This included media organisations, companies, celebrities and high profile people including political and religious figures.  This caused debate with many being quickly reinstated for accounts with more than one million followers when spoof accounts began to appear.

The reason for removing these ticks was that Musk wanted all these people and organisations to buy the verification tick instead with Twitter Blue.  It’s not a bad idea as the company still needs to make money but it was clearly not thought through properly and had problems.

I was one person though that did buy a Twitter Blue subscription.  For me it’s a good idea as it could help reassure people reading my tweets that I’m not a bot, not a scammer, and that I’m taking the time and effort to publish quality information and advice.

One thing I didn’t expect though was snobbery from some people that had lost their own free blue checkmark.  Watching a couple of podcasts recently where the subject was being discussed, quite a few of the people presenting that had lost their own blue checkmark came across strongly with the view that only their opinions and tweets were of a high quality and important, and Musk removing their own blue ticks and allowing all the sweaty masses to have them devalued their own personal importance, and thus they were going to leave Twitter.

This surprised me as it’s a very shallow and self-centered view.  I don’t doubt that verified checkmarks can and have helped people tell the difference between real and fake news stories, and fake and real accounts, but those check marks can have much more value if more widely available.

Personally, I think the situation could have been handled differently.  The verified accounts, or Twitter Blue subscribers, could have a different colour checkmark for example, such as green or gold.  Twitter selling these accounts will never make enough money to keep the business afloat after all, and verified accounts do bring more people to the platform who are then fed adverts, which does keep the company going.

But to those people who have lost their checkmark my message is this.  Your opinions and content are not more important or of a higher significance to those of other people.  We all have something to contribute and many of us can contribute content that’s at least as high quality as your own.  Snobbery isn’t an attractive quality, so looking at the bigger picture will always be a good idea.