It Appears That Elon Is Handing Out Blue Checkmarks Like Candy

Last week I told you that when the great purge of legacy verification checkmarks happened, a handful of people such as Lebron James, Steven King, and Willam Shatner kept their checkmarks because Elon was paying for them. Well, it seems that Elon is paying for more people than those three people:

The latest speed bump in the rollout of Twitter’s revamped verification policy under new owner Elon Musk is here: Spite checkmarks. Twitter is capriciously awarding unwanted blue verification badges to the most prominent critics of those very badges.

That’s right, you can get a free Twitter Blue subscription and the blue checkmark that comes with it if you critique or criticize Elon.

But wait, there’s more:

Other prominent accounts have also been recipients of unwanted checkmarks. This growing list includes several actors and musicians like Bette Midler, Lil Nas X, Ian McKellen, and Jason Alexander. This is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more legacy users across the board are reporting that they’ve received their checkmarks without paying for Twitter Blue.

And to show what a train wreck next to a dumpster fire this is, there’s this:

 The accounts of Kobe Bryant, Anthony Bourdain, and Chadwick Boseman all appear to have been re-verified despite being dead.

Seriously Elon? Did you even think this through? Of course not. What I am I thinking? Elon is a “ready, fire, aim” sort of guy who doesn’t ever think things through. Speaking of not thinking things through, what he’s doing might be illegal.

IANAL, but if Twitter is actively labeling non-subscribers as subscribers, that’s fraud based on a legal concept called false endorsement. So if a three letter US government agency, or the US Justice Department agrees with that view, Elon is going to quickly regret ever doing this.

Finally, it doesn’t seem like Elon’s even trying make sure that he hands out verification checkmarks to the right people and companies as evidenced by this:

Twitter gave a fake Disney account verification status at the weekend.

The account, called @DisneyJuniorUK, was tweeting vile content, but managed to be verified with a gold tick before being suspended.

The owner alerted his followers by saying “this isn’t actually real right. someone pinch me or something” – and the tweet has since gone viral.

It comes as confusion continues at how Twitter’s updated verification system is working.

Twitter has been approached for comment.

Meanwhile, the “real” Disney Junior account has also been given a gold badge.

Wow, what a gong show. I actually want to replace the word gong with another word. But this is a family friendly blog.

So why is Elon doing this. My random thoughts go something like this:

  • Elon wants to get under the skin of people who don’t like him. That’s why Elon critics are getting checkmarks as he’s trolling them.
  • Elon is trying to head off mass impersonation of Twitter accounts because he took away legacy verification. That’s why celebs are getting their checkmarks back. Though as evidenced above, he’s clearly not getting that right.
  • Elon is trying to make Twitter Blue seem more popular than it is. Because right now, it’s not popular. In fact it’s a Scarlett Letter and not a status symbol.
  • Elon is trying to blunt the effectiveness of tools like this Chrome extension that mass blocks Twitter Blue subscribers. Because you wouldn’t want to block your favourite celebs. Right?

Of course there might be other reasons at play here that I can’t fathom as I suspect that Elon’s mind is most likely a bit of a mess right now. But I think you get the point. This is yet another disaster that Elon has brought upon himself. And he’s flailing about like a fish out of water trying to figure out how to get himself out of it.

What a loser Elon is.

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