Twitter is fulfilling Elon Musk’s desire to remove blue checkmarks en masse from legacy verified accounts. Several Verge writers and journalists, including LA Times reporter Matt Pearce, have experienced the verification logos disappearing and reappearing between page reloads.
Previously, Twitter’s verification system was designed to ensure that accounts from notable individuals and organizations who freely contributed content to the social media platform were actually being run by those individuals and organizations. However, Musk is now charging $8 a month for verification through Twitter Blue, and journalists are not automatically verified. The April 20th target date for removing legacy blue checkmarks has been public since at least April 11th, but until now, it was unclear if Twitter would go through with it. Introduced over a decade ago, the blue checkmark system faced challenges in determining who was “notable” enough to warrant being verified. However, making verification a feature that anyone can pay for has already helped misinformation appear in prominent news articles.