I’ll be unsubscribing at the end of the month.
I joined Twitter waaaay back in 2007, long before Twitter Blue, even before dark mode was an option. Ads were less encroaching on the experience, and you actually saw the status updates your friends make an appearance in your timeline.
At some point on the very bumpy road Twitter took as it tried to fashion itself as the crown jewel in the social media crown, it made many disastrous errors. Remember when they tried to compete with Vine and Youtube by introducing their own in-feed video streaming service called Periscope? More recently, they’ve introduced Twitter Circles, an initiative intended to directly compete with successful social apps like Clubhouse, but hardly ever used. In my 15 years as a Twitter denizen, I haven’t seen many improvements in the quality-of-use experience, but have witnessed it try to mimic real world social hierarchies, prioritizing the rich, famous and influential above the peasants in the Twitter Kingdoms, like you and me.
The Blue Verification badge was originally implemented for one specific purpose- to thwart potential impersonators from pretending to be high profile media or political figures and wreaking havoc in their name. That’s all. It telegraphed the simple message that this user was authentically who they claimed to be.
Later, it morphed into an elitist class of Twitter celebrities, no matter their field, whose thoughts and opinions were shuttled to the top of “Follow suggestions” in the side menu and into the timelines of users who didn’t follow them but the algorithm saw a friend you haven’t spoken to since high school, or someone who regularly reply to, did… The Blue Check became a highly sought after golden ticket to the upper echelons of the twitter culture because it was hard to ignore the priority they received by the machine, and as a result, Twitter overlords become more and more discriminating about who they bestowed the coveted blue check upon. At this point, you can only become a legitimately verified user if you are submitted through an officially recognized agency or publicist who rings up Twitter on behalf of their clients and insist their account be verified. This happened to Mya Taylor, the award winning actress from the film Tangerine and star of the highly…