In a significant shift, X, the social media platform formerly identified as Twitter, will now permit its users to conceal their blue check marks, according to an announcement by the company.
Renowned as a prestigious symbol of recognition at Twitter before its acquisition by tech tycoon Elon Musk, these blue checks have since received criticism from certain quarters. Critics argue that the willingness of users to pay for this blue badge signals a desire for preferential treatment.
A statement from X on August 3 elaborates, “As a subscriber, you have the option to hide your checkmark on your account. This checkmark will no longer appear on your profile and posts.”
Previously on Twitter, these blue ticks, offered free of cost, acted as a verification marker for particular users. It included journalists, celebrities, and politicians whose identities were authenticated to foster trust on the platform.
However, Musk challenged this system, terming it a “lords & peasants system.” He offered access to these checkmarks to anyone subscribing to the X’s Blue subscription. This $8 monthly program includes special features for subscribers.
Soon after its launch, Musk temporarily paused the program, citing issues with individuals purchasing the ticks and impersonating notable personalities, including Musk himself.
In April, Musk implemented a long-promised action of removing the free blue ticks from Twitter users. The reactions to this decision were mixed, with some lauding it as democratic and others viewing it as a monetary exploitation for maintaining their platform status.
Famed author Stephen King, who had previously sworn never to pay for the check, seemed surprised to still have his blue check. Musk responded to King’s message, humorously saying, “You’re welcome namaste.”
News of X allowing Blue subscribers to hide their checkmarks incited a heated response from one user who accused Musk of transforming a “decade-old symbol of trust into a mark of shame.”
Despite the ability to hide the blue ticks, other paid features, like posts exceeding 280 characters, may still inadvertently reveal a user’s Blue subscriber status.
X’s help page cautions users, “The checkmark may still appear in some places and some features could still reveal you have an active subscription.”
The impact of this decision on digital status symbols remains to be seen as the platform navigates its new identity under Musk’s leadership.
This news story is based on an article from thestar.com.my.