Football player and social media sensation, Christiano Ronaldo and apparently thousands of Twitter users, including sportsmen, musicians, journalists and politicians have begun losing their legacy Twitter verification mark, following company’s change of policy.
In February, new Twitter boss, Elon Musk announced the company’s intention to commercialize the ‘blue tick’, a verification mark which it previously offered for credibility to journalists, musicians and politicians.
Musk first hinted in November last year that the “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.
However, Musk’s announcement attracted criticism from Twitter users who said the checkmark would lose its essence since it would be available to anyone who offered money, instead of it being available for credible organisations as it formerly was.
The criticism Musk’s decision received seemed to have fallen on his deaf ears as Twitter announced on Wednesday that “Tomorrow, 4/20, we are removing legacy verified checkmarks. To remain verified on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: Organisations can sign up for Verified Organizations here:”
On Thursday, Ogunwatch observed that various accounts which formerly carried the blue checkmark under the legacy Twitter verification system were stripped of it – an evidence that Twitter had begun implementing its much controversial policy.
The policy which has affected over hundreds of thousands users left no touch of prejudice as powerful institutions and politicians across the world are not spared. Nigerian politicians like Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi Shehu Sani and Tinubu were not marked out from the Passover.
TG Omori, Funke Akindele and Innocent Idibia, known as 2Face were among Nigerian celebrities who Ogunwatch observed were touched by the ongoing recovery of “blue tick.”
Also popular Nigerian information retailers like Punch Newspaper, Sahara Reporters and Vanguard newspaper were without the checkmark by Friday morning.
Whether it is on Ideological principles or for financial necessity, it is clear that Twitter’s verification subscription policy would unprecedentedly raise the company’s revenue.
However, the company hinting on the rationale behind the Twitter verification revolution, through its ‘@verified’ handle disclosed that “Verified Organizations is a new way for organizations and their affiliates to distinguish themselves on Twitter. Rather than relying on Twitter to be the sole arbiter of truth for which accounts should be verified, vetted organizations that sign up for”
Elon Musk Paid For Some Users
Despite the Twitter Verification Passover which had swept past Nigeria to USA, it appears that some tweeps bore the “Passover mark” on their timeline which had their accounts skipped from the removal spree.
By Friday morning, Ogunwatch observed that Lakers Basketball Club legend, Lebron James still bore the blue checkmark despite threatening in March that he would not be paying to carry the social media checkmark.
However, reports have it that Elon Musk himself offered to pay for James and a number of other beneficiaries which were not clearly disclosed. Musk himself also wrote on Twitter: “I’m paying for a few personally.”
How Nigerian Celebs have reacted
Funke Akindele reacting to a diss directed towards celebrities who have now been ‘unverified’ wrote: Una do start.🙄🙄 no be 52k ? Who don humble don humble. Who Cary shoulder pad don carry am no be by blue tick o!”
Nigerian video producer, TG Omori who also reacted said: “Elon musk don collect my blue tick”
Reacting to a publication by Channels TV which had announced the stripping of Atiku, Tinubu and Obi’s blue checkmark, Senator Shehu Sani said: “If he had removed two and left one,Elon could have either been accused of Bigotry or suspected of being settled…our Eid celebration could have been marred by cyber wars…Hundeyin will investigate and Serap will sue”
Whether or not Tweeps previously verified under the Twitter legacy verification policy will pay Twitter Inc the stipulated $8, unfolding events would prove that. However, legal consequences emanating from various countries may greet Musk’s Twitter verification revolution.