Okay, so Twitter broke its own verification system by making the blue check — previously a signal that the account had provided information about its owner’s identity — available for purchase. Yesterday, which is approximately a month ago in Elon Musk time, a solution rolled out: gray checks that indicated that the account was official. By the end of the day, those checks had been rolled back.
Got all that? Great. After a great deal of impersonation, hoaxing, and other brand-unsafe behavior from the newly-purchased blue checks, the gray “official” checks are back.
Brands such as Coca-Cola, Twitter, Wired, and Ars Technica have the new-old gray checks (but not @Vergewhich is, we promise, our real one, unlike this importer account). This morning, Musk, Twitter’s new owner, said that there are too many “corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks.”
Those “corrupt” checks were, of course, unpaid — unlike the ones that have been causing mayhem by imitating brands such as Nintendo, Eli Lilly, and Tesla. A blue check costs $7.99, as part of Twitter Blue, and Musk said it will be the “great leveler” when he got rid of the gray checks yesterday. Twitter product lead Esther Crawford (who is now sporting a Twitter Blue-purchased Verified stamp on her account) said earlier this week that the gray checks would return, with a focus on “government and commercial entities to begin with” instead of individuals.