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No One Cares About Twitter's Blue Check Marks Anymore

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 24, 2023 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | April 24, 2023 |


A brief recap: On April 20th, Elon Musk took the blue ticks away from all the verified people who had not paid for Twitter Blue, a service users can spend $8 a month for in exchange for nothing of value whatsoever. Of the 400,000 verified users who lost their checkmarks, only something like 28 signed up for Twitter Blue. The checkmark quickly became a badge of dishonor, signifying that you were an Elon bootlicker, troll, or right-wing idiot. Twitter Blue subscribers were furious that celebrities and other notable people and organizations refused to pay, and many threw hissy fits, which plagued Twitter for much of the weekend because Twitter Blue tweets rise to the top of the For You page and are ranked ahead of everyone else in the replies. It makes Twitter replies all but useless because they are dominated by men’s rights activists with 60 followers and insecurity complexes.

In the beginning, Elon Musk also gave Stephen King and LeBron James blue checkmarks, basically to humiliate them, although that backfired spectacularly when both the author and the NBA player Tweeted to their millions of followers that they didn’t pay for the checkmarks and would never pay for the blue checkmarks. Soon thereafter, a #BlocktheBlue campaign began, whereby users would automatically block all Twitter Blue users since 95 percent of them were Elon stans.

To combat that, Elon Musk decided to give everyone with over 1 million followers their checkmark back to prevent users from blocking Twitter Blue subscribers en masse. In turn, essentially every celebrity on Twitter with 1 million followers came out at some point over the weekend to renounce the checkmarks, further humiliating Elon Musk. Several prominent figures did not renounce the checkmarks, however, because they are dead, like Chadwick Boseman and Jamal Khashoggi. If you go to their profiles, it says that they pay for Twitter Blue subscriptions. They obviously do not.

The other effect is that all these Elon stans who have been demanding for months that Musk level the playing field and offer Twitter checkmarks to everyone equally are now ticked off because millionaire celebrities do not have to pay $8 for something they don’t want while they pay $8 for something worthless.

The absurd height of all this seemed to come when the Auschwitz Memorial had to come out and say that they didn’t pay the $8, either, which triggered a lot of Elon stans, who claimed that the Auschwitz Memorial was virtue signaling.

There were also a lot of outraged people who had a response similar to this:

I shared the Auschwitz Memorial aspect of this Twitter maelstrom with my wife this morning because I thought she might be interested. After all, she is the director of the state’s JCC. She said to me, “Why do you know this? Why do you care?” which was a signal to me that, though it is my job to keep up with this sort of thing, not only have I become too invested but also: No one gives a shit anymore.

Twitter is now a place where we go to dunk on Elon Musk or watch others dunk on Elon. Twitter, which is owned by Elon Musk, is now devoted almost entirely to talking about Elon Musk. Yes, most of it is negative, and most of it is humiliating, but it’s also not any fun anymore. If my wife’s response is any indication, for people who are not on Twitter all that often, it’s probably become increasingly exhausting to hear about it.

Ultimately, I don’t think it’s going to end, either, unless Elon Musk sells Twitter, or until everyone eventually drifts away from Twitter because no one cares anymore. There have been a lot of layoffs in digital publishing this year, and while a lot of that can be attributed to greed and mismanagement, at least some of it can probably be attributed to the media’s obsession with a toxic, unpopular social media platform used mostly by the media. Wouldn’t it be nice if the media stopped generating culture war stories from a handful of tweets? Twitter is f**king ground zero for the culture wars.

To wit: Yes, if Twitter did not exist, Budweiser still would have sent promotional beer to Dylan Mulvaney because it was awesome and great marketing! If Twitter did not exist, Kid Rock still would’ve shot a bunch of Budweiser beer cans with a semi-automatic weapon. But if Twitter did not exist, journalists wouldn’t have sourced half a million stories to Twitter about this particular issue. Trust me: I don’t spend a lot of time on TikTok or Instagram because it is not well suited to the needs of journalists. Twitter generates these stories dozens of times a day, and sometimes, it makes our job easier, but it does so at the expense of writing about something far more worthwhile than what a bunch of Twitter Blue subscribers with 72 followers have to say about the Auschwitz Memorial.

I don’t remember how long it took for MySpace to fade into oblivion. I doubt that it was overnight. It was probably a slow months-long process. That’s what’s happening to Twitter right now. When the only story on Twitter is about Twitter then Twitter has lost its utility, and eventually, we’ll all move on. For those of you who do not give a sh*t, I am sorry that it’s taking this long.