Twitter has altered the rules for its $8 Blue subscription service to prevent new accounts from getting a blue checkmark. Yesterday evening, the company edited the service’s help page to add that accounts created on or after November 9th, 2022 “will be unable to subscribe to Twitter Blue at this time.” The website also added that Twitter Blue is only available on iOS for users in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, with plans to expand in the future.
While Twitter didn’t explain why it’s putting the restriction on new accounts, the move came after an influx of impersonators got verified by paying for the service. “Twitter’s current lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark is bullshit,” the website’s new owner, Elon Musk, tweeted earlier this month before details about the revamped subscription service were revealed. Yesterday marked the launch of the new Twitter Blue, and it allowed people to get the formerly elusive blue checkmark by paying for its perks that include instant verification.
The internet being the internet, people quickly realized that they can pretend to be someone else and that the checkmark could help them fool unsuspecting users. A bunch of impersonators popped up on the website, including one claiming to be LeBron James who tweeted that the basketball star was requesting a trade. A fake Nintendo of America account tweeted a photo of Mario giving Twitter the middle finger, while a fake Valve account tweeted about a new competitive platform. Twitter started banning them after a few hours. The new rule could help curb the number of fake accounts, but it’s unclear how Twitter plans to address the issue going forward — it can’t lock new users out of Blue forever.
While Twitter’s blue checkmarks are now for sale, it has another smaller, gray checkmark reserved for public figures. It started rolling out these “official” checkmarks yesterday, but it quickly pulled them back down and will hand them out to “government and commercial entities” first.
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