Elon Musk would very, very much like you to buy Twitter’s subscription service, Twitter Blue.
Unless you’re seriously into cryptocurrency, a serious fan of Elon Musk, or a conservative tweeter (who is also probably seriously into crypto and Elon Musk), you probably are not interested in buying Twitter Blue.
On April 20 (because Musk dearly, dearly loves making juvenile jokes) Twitter finally removed the “verified” badge of previously notable users. This promptly led to, say, a crypto enthusiast named “Lil’ Bubble” being, in Twitter’s eyes, more notable than the Pope.
Everyone laughed a bit, some nervously, most not, and moved on, as is the wont of people who for whatever perverse reasons still post on Twitter. The plan was to “encourage” previously verified users to sign up for the Twitter Blue service.
It did not go well.
(No word on if Jordan is in fact single.)
Pretty soon it became very obvious, thanks to Twitter’s new ranking algorithms prioritizing Twitter Blue users, that most Twitter Blue users are, for lack of a better term, raging arseholes.
So a movement popped up to #BlockTheBlue - aka to block every Twitter Blue user since, well, just look. For the record, this was my initial reaction:
But it seemed really popular! So popular, in fact, that Musk first banned the Twitter account organizing the hashtag, added a few famous accounts such as LeBron James and Stephen King manually, and then, when that proved wholly insufficient to make a dent in all the blocking going on, this morning simply forced Twitter Blue on everyone with over 1 million followers. Can’t block them all if all the most famous people are on it!
One problem: the aforementioned most famous people weren’t consulted. And… they were not happy. At all.
This even extended to users with over 1 million followers who, um, were no longer alive.
You see, what Musk didn’t realize (or did, but didn’t care) is that for your average famous person, the barrier to subscribing to Twitter Blue wasn’t the $8 fee (I’m fairly certain Lil Nas X can afford $8), it was that with all the “legitimate” verified checks gone, the very act of having that blue check was seen as being one of the Uncool Ones.
For their part, the people who DID subscribe to Twitter Blue were FURIOUS at the implication (well, OK, the very clearly communicated statement) that buying a Twitter Blue subscription was not enough to make someone one of the Cool Ones.
As it sunk in to the Formerly Verified that they now, whether they liked it or not, had a Twitter Blue account, one very famous Twitter user decided he was not going to take it and declared Internet War on the richest man in the world.
Yes, dril was going to war. The world had changed.
If you are not familiar with dril, he is essentially the personification of the humor of the web forum days of the 2000s migrating into the social media era of today. His first tweet was arguably the best tweet ever made:
Since then he has posted many, many classic tweets.
And now dril was one of the Uncool Ones and no sir, he did not like it.
Word began to spread that you could lose the hated Blue Tick of Shame by changing your username (a “feature” Twitter introduced back when verified users were changing their names at random to mock Musk’s refusal to see the value of verified identities) and there was quickly relief among many.
Except in dril’s case for much of the day. It seemed that every time dril changed his display name, the Twitter Blue icon would reappear almost immediately.
And only dril.
Yes, one of the richest men in the world was furious that a blurry forum character was refusing his largesse and forcing it on him. Repeatedly.
Anyway, as of this writing dril seems to have managed to dodge the Blue Check o’ Shame, so perhaps Musk finally gave up, or went to bed, or gosh, had something better to do. (Surely not that.)
Continuing updates as this incredibly inane view into a social network’s collapse develops, because everything continues to be horrible.