Twitter’s experiment with the ‘official’ tag apart from the existing blue verified checkmark isn’t going well, adding more confusion and chaos to the already convoluted verification process. The company’s new owner, Elon Musk, has “killed” the project after some accounts, including India Today’s main handle, got the official badge under the profile name. Following Musk’s takeover nearly two weeks ago, Twitter announced that verified and non-verified members would need to pay $8 per month to get the prestigious blue checkmark next to the profile name. After concerns related to spam accounts getting the blue badge were raised, Twitter said it would roll out a separate ‘official’ tag for government and business profiles.

However, some non-government affiliated profiles started getting the ‘official’ badge last evening. Popular tech YouTuber MKBHD also received the badge, and he tweeted, “There’s two verified checks. One that shows next to your profile in replies, in retweets, and everywhere else: It means you’re a Twitter Blue subscriber. The other one (‘Official’) only shows up on certain profiles and on timeline”. After he tweeted that the ‘official’ badge from his account disappeared, Musk replied, “I just killed”, indicating the feature’s development is paused for now.

Meanwhile, Twitter Support issued a clarification about the ‘official’ mark on profiles. In a tweet, it said, “We’re not currently putting an ‘Official’ label on accounts but we are aggressively going after impersonation and deception”. Musk also tweeted separately, “Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works and change what doesn’t.”

After Musk formally took over the company, one of the many things that he announced included Blue verified check marks for all users. The checkmark that typically appears on notable public accounts is being bundled with a Twitter Blue subscription, which is available in select countries excluding India.

In other words, Musk wants users to pay for the verified badge to democratise the platform and increase Twitter’s revenue. However, many are concerned about the badge’s authenticity. People fear that spam and fake profiles would get an easy chance to be verified by paying $8 per month for the Twitter Blue subscription.

To tackle these concerns, Musk announced that select profiles such as government-affiliated profiles, media, and select business profiles would automatically get an official, seemingly without the subscription. However, the process of acquiring the official tag also remained unclear, confusing more users about the verification process.

It is possible the ‘official’ badge project is not entirely gone. Musk’s Twitter may revive it once the Twitter Blue subscription rolls out in other countries, meaning once more users get the blue verified badge.


India today