UPDATE: Early Friday, it appears Twitter users can no longer signup for Twitter Blue, a service that briefly allowed customers to have a verified blue checkmark despite not being vetted. The service allowed for many parody and fake accounts to pop up to spread misinformation.
Twitter Blue users can continue utilizing some of the enhanced features of the service, Twitter said.
PREVIOUS STORY: Since Elon Musk purchased the social media giant Twitter on Oct. 27, features within the app have changed that media consumers outside of the industry should be aware of.
Part of Musk’s plan is to allow a subscription-based program, known as Twitter Blue, to give users the ability to pay $8 per month for a checkmark next to their name.
Twitter Blue is only available to users who originally signed up for the app on iOS devices, or products owned by Apple. Other features are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.
Prior to Musk owning the app, verified users applied through a process and underwent background checks to ensure they were members of the media, athletes, government officials or influential in pop culture. It traditionally took between a week to a month to receive verification status.
How to see the difference
In order to know how an account is verified, first click on the profile of the account you’d like to view.
Second, hover over the verification symbol and tap it. It will say one of two reasons for the account being verified.
“This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue,” will be listed underneath. This indicates the user pays for the subscription service to have the verification logo.
This does not ensure whether or not they are legit members of the media, athletes or other important figures within culture.
Many phony accounts have been created and paid for the subscription service spreading false rumors around topics such as false sports trades.
“This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment or another designated category,” can also be listed underneath.
This indicates the user went through the application process through Twitter to be recognized as a contributing member of pop culture to have the checkmark placed next to their social media profile.
Often, these legit accounts will also have links, different accounts listed in the biography, and other items indicating they are a legit and real profile on Twitter.
How to be proactive on the app
There are a few ways to be able to tell the difference between legit profiles and trolls.
- Look at the handle
- Hover over the verified symbol to see the explanation
- Research the user's name outside of the app
- Cross-check profile with other social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook
This article was written by Claire Geary for WEWS.