The following is probably mostly obvious to anyone who had been using Twitter for the last decade. But for those who are just confused what the whole hubbub around Twitter “verified checkmark” is all about, here goes!
A long while ago Twitter started making certain accounts “verified”. This was supposed to combat impersonation (and in that it was even quite effective, apparently). But since the “verified” checkmark was given by Twitter on Twitter’s sole discretion, and since it mostly went to Large, Important Accounts (celebrities, politicians, and so on), it quickly became a status symbol of sorts. “Witness me, for I have the Verified Checkmark, therefore I am considered Important!”, that kind of thing.
When Melon took over in November, this was an easy target.
First of all, a lot of these blue checkmarks were “left wing media” people and so on, or otherwise people who could be claimed by his twisted alt-right peanut of a brain to be “establishment” — as opposed, of course, to the Apartheid Clyde himself, who in no way can be said to be an “establishment” person, nuh-huh!
Secondly, as it’s a status symbol, maybe people could get cajolled to pay for this?
And third, as a security measure — impersonating a well known person or a trusted organization is great when you’re trying to phish someone or send them a malwared link… — maybe large organizations will want to pay even more for the priviledge of being more difficult to impersonate on Twitter?
Turns out, no. The backlash was so strong, that Twitter even started letting those who did pay for Twitter Blue to hide the checkmark, because it started being associated with supporting Musk. Meanwhile organizations started coming out strong with “hell no we won’t pay your protection racket money”, as to them it seemed (pretty on-point I’d say) as if Chief Twit was basically saying: “fancy Twitter profile for an organization you have there; it would be a shame if someone impersonated it!”
Today is the day (4.20; yes, the Toddler King made another marijuana joke here) where legacy “verified” checkmarks are finally disappearing and only the paid ones remain. In other words, the Fediverse has a better verification system than Twitter now.