Elon Musk kills Twitter’s grey ‘Official’ checkmark hours after its release

Musk said Twitter "will do lots of dumb things in coming months."

Twitter logo in the Android app

Just hours after Twitter started rolling out a new grey checkmark and ‘Official’ label to some accounts (and shortly after I had finished writing this story), Elon Musk got rid of it.

Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee tweeted that his ‘Official’ label had vanished, and Musk replied that he “just killed it.” Musk followed up by saying the “Blue check will be the great leveler.

This all comes after Twitter attempted to fix issues caused by the new, paid blue checkmark by introducing a new grey checkmark intended to act as a new verification label. The label had started to appear on some Twitter accounts on November 9th, and Twitter’s Esther Crawford, who’s heading up the new Twitter Blue subscription that comes with a blue check, tweeted that the new grey check mark was intended to distinguish between accounts the company verified as official and accounts that paid for a blue checkmark. Crawford also confirmed that Twitter Blue doesn’t include ID verification.

Musk followed up his response to Brownlee by tweeting that Twitter “will do lots of dumb things in [the] coming months.” Crawford quote-tweeted Musk, writing that there ” are no sacred cows in product at Twitter anymore. Elon is willing to try lots of things — many will fail, some will succeed.”

Moreover, Crawford claims the ‘Official’ label will still go out as part of the new Twitter Blue launch. To start, the label will focus on government and official entities. However, this seems counter to what Musk has tweeted, and notably, the badge has vanished entirely from the site, including from the types of accounts Crawford said would have it.

The new ‘Official’ badge was arguably a helpful change that may have cut down on the potential for impersonation, something that Musk has taken issue with in recent days after various accounts sporting blue checkmarks started impersonating and making fun of him.

Twitter’s ‘Official’ checkmark in an account profile before it was removed.

Of course, it’s worth keeping in mind that Musk caused these issues in the first place. Twitter’s blue checkmark was intended as a tool to help distinguish high-profile accounts like those of celebrities, companies, government officials, and more from possible impersonators. By changing the blue checkmark into a paid feature and unlocking it for anyone, it opened the door for people to impersonate high-profile accounts easily.

At the moment, the blue checkmark really only means one of two things: that account paid for Twitter like a loser, or that account was previously verified and hasn’t lost the blue check yet. Most accounts seem to be in the latter camp for now since Twitter delayed changes to the blue checkmark. Now that the U.S. midterm elections are over, however, that should start to shift..

You can find more about the ongoing Musk x Twitter drama here.

Source: Elon Musk, @esthercrawford Via: The Verge