X users who subscribe to the “Blue” service now have the option to hide their check mark, according to a recently updated Twitter Help article.
Owner Elon Musk had previously warned that he wasn’t afraid to keep “blowing things up” as he and newly appointed X CEO Linda Yaccarino continue to fudge the subscription service features further.
How it started:
Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit.
Power to the people! Blue for $8/month.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2022
One of Musk’s first moves upon his purchase of X, then Twitter, was to reconfigure the long-standing verification system. Previous to Musk’s changes, the service issued the check mark to account holders considered noteworthy or those whose identity risked impersonation. These included celebrities, politicians and journalists.
Twitter cleared the slate upon Musk’s implementation of the new subscription-based system. Under the current X “Blue” subscription service, users are issued a check mark once they pay for the service and attach a phone number to their account.
How it’s going:
You know your brand is good when your most successful business move is to hide it. Watch as they make this the default for twitter blue subscribers https://t.co/WhyvXUxYx2
— Ed Zitron (@edzitron) August 2, 2023
X now offers subscribers the option to choose not to display their subscription badge. It’s unclear as to why the company is offering the choice — X typically replies to requests for clarity with poop emojis — but the accompanying Twitter Help page does warn subscribers that the toggle isn’t definitive:
“The checkmark may still appear in some places and some features could still reveal you have an active subscription.”
Preprint research from a team at Princeton, published in June 2023, found that accounts that obtained a Blue subscription after the verification changes were disproportionately made up of those whose engagement consists of “posting conservative political content, exhibiting positive views about Elon Musk, and promoting cryptocurrencies.”
Unfortunately for those subscribers with good intentions, the association with cryptocurrency scams, hardline extremist political views and the polarizing nature of Musk’s shadow over the global technology landscape have given the check mark symbol a negative connotation among many X users.
Now you can hide or show your Blue checkmark on iPhone
The reason why some people may want to do it is because there’re still people who block people with blue check marks (as blocking negatively affect visibility).
I’ll keep my check mark because it shows that I verified my… pic.twitter.com/ZLrNF6RXZK
— Kris Kashtanova (@icreatelife) August 2, 2023