Twitter CEO Elon Musk has previously criticised the legacy verification policy and spoke of his plans to remove it last November.
According to a Tweet posted by Twitter Verified yesterday (23 March), the social media platform is planning to remove legacy verified checkmarks starting on 1 April.
This means many users who had verified badges granted previously due to their status as well-known brands, journalists or public figures will now have to pay a fee to keep their badges.
On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here: https://t.co/gzpCcwOpLp
Organizations can sign up for https://t.co/RlN5BbuGA3…
— Twitter Verified (@verified) March 23, 2023
Twitter’s help centre has been updated to warn users that they will have to have an active subscription to Twitter Blue to get a verification checkmark.
“Accounts that were verified under the previous criteria (active, notable, and authentic) will not retain a blue checkmark unless they are subscribed to Twitter Blue,” the help centre said.
It also said that Twitter Blue subscribers will have to meet its “eligibility criteria” to receive or retain the blue checkmark.
The criteria is designed to ensure bots do not get verified. Any Twitter Blue user that wants to get a checkmark must have a profile photo, a display name and a confirmed phone number. It must also have been active in the 30 days before a user applies for verification.
Under the new changes, no user will be able to get verified under the previous criteria – i.e. that they are a well-known user. According to the help centre, there are caveats in place meaning that no deceptive or suspicious accounts get verified.
The removal of Twitter’s legacy verified programme for public figures has been broached before by the platform’s CEO Elon Musk.
Last year, Musk criticised Twitter’s verification policy and indicated he was going to change it. He proposed charging a fee for verification, which was met with condemnation from many high-profile Twitter users and brands.
A previous attempt to change the policy led to users impersonating brands and people, which led to strong criticism by many other users.
Since Musk bought the platform he has made some very drastic changes, including laying off a significant number of staff. He also relaunched Twitter Blue, Twitter’s subscription programme.
The Twitter Blue account tweeted yesterday that the service is now available worldwide. It was launched in Ireland earlier this month.
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