After months of build-up and increasingly exhausting fake-outs, Elon Musk's Twitter has finally flicked the little blue checks off of many of the accounts that had them. The checks previously indicated that an account had been "verified" to belong to the person it claimed to represent, and wasn't an imposter.
Starting today, blue checks primarily mean that a person has paid for Twitter Blue, an $8 per month subscription.
Some Twitter accounts that represent organizations, such as PC Gamer's account, now have a gold check to indicate that they're affiliated with a paid "Twitter Verified Organizations" business account. It's also possible for individuals on Twitter to receive a blue checkmark through association with a paid, verified organization. The account of Xbox head Phil Spencer, for instance, still has a blue check because "it's an affiliate of @Xbox on Twitter."
Otherwise, blue checks indicate that a user has paid for Twitter Blue and verified their phone number, and that their account is more than 30 days old and in good standing. The complete "verification" guidelines can be read here.
As a result of today's purge of "legacy" blue checkmarks, many formerly verified accounts that will be familiar from the gaming world no longer have them. A few examples:
- Sean Murray of Hello Games
- The official Final Fantasy 16 account
- The official Star Citizen account
- Tim Schafer of Double Fine
- The official Warframe account
- Respawn head Vince Zampella
The burdensome blue check has also been lifted from my shoulders—something the Pope and I now have in common—and I already feel lighter. If you also use Twitter to follow gaming news and announcements, however, you may find it more difficult to tell when you're looking at a legitimate source. Critics of the change have argued that it will lead to increased instances of impersonation, an idea that was dutifully demonstrated by pranksters when paid blue checks were first introduced.
I usually look at who's following an account and for how long it's been active to help me determine if it's legit, although those aren't perfectly reliable indicators. Neither were verified badges, of course, but they helped.
Remedy's Sam Lake is another gaming figure who was de-checked today, and in classic Sam Lake fashion he's been posting "unverified" rumors about Alan Wake 2 in response.
I hope it's true that Alan Wake 2 "has some scary bits in it," but we'll have to take that unsubstantiated claim with a grain of salt for now, along with Lake's assertion that "beyond the shadow you settle for, there's a miracle, illuminated." (I'm not sure whether that last one is good or bad, to be honest.)
Unverified, but beyond the shadow you settle for, there’s a miracle, illuminated.April 20, 2023