Twitter’s new blue checkmark isn’t always blue, and other verification system changes

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If you’ve been following the ongoing Twitter saga, you know that there have been many changes at the company. Just this week, Twitter dropped its API for third party apps, leaving some long-time developers more than a little peeved (warning: link has profanity).

One area where there’s been substantial change is with the famous blue checkmark. The blue checkmark was originally presented by Twitter as a symbol of a “verified” account. However, Twitter was capricious about who it chose to grant blue checkmarks to. Twitter occasionally opened up submissions for blue checkmark consideration, but there was no hard-and-fast criteria for selection. Because of this, some people were given blue checkmarks while others who seemed to be of similar notoriety and standing were not.

In some circles, the blue checkmark developed into something of a derided status symbol. According to a number of entries in The Urban Dictionary, the phrase “Blue Checkmark,” when applied to an individual, is “a pejorative, predominantly used by right-wing people to describe left-wing” journalists and celebrities.

Despite that, the existence of a blue checkmark next to someone’s name has become an indicator to Twitter users that the holder of the checkmark is someone of note, implying that the checkmark holder has some additional authority online. We’ll come back to this in a minute. But first, let’s discuss the recent changes in how blue checkmark status is granted.

The new blue checkmark


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