Mar 31, 2023 - Economy

More Twitter chaos on the way

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Blue checks that we’ve come to associate with authenticity, trustworthiness and prominence on Twitter are set to disappear tomorrow from accounts that won’t pay for the badges.

Why it matters: How people interpret content on the platform will change dramatically.

Context: Prior to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, accounts gained blue checks through vetting processes.

  • For the past 14 of Twitter’s 17 years of existence, the badge has served as a sieve — separating real and mostly credible content from a sea of spammers, impersonators and bots.
  • Musk, in his continued overhaul, now wants to prioritize a paid check-mark system (Twitter Blue) to juice revenue and to reorganize “For You” feeds to feature more posts from paying users.

Between the lines: Those set to lose their badges are worried about imposters and losing reach.

  • Simultaneously, people who browse Twitter will have a harder time picking out accounts they can trust.

What they’re saying: “It’s more about treating everyone equally,” Musk tweeted earlier this week in response to concerns.

  • “There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo.”

The big picture: “While Twitter remains an important tool for newsgathering, it is not as reliable as it once was,” Los Angeles Times managing editor Sara Yasin told staffers.

What to watch: Musk doesn’t always follow through on his plans, and the check-mark policy could change again in the future, Brian X. Chen and Ryan Mac at the New York Times note.

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