Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

The End of the Bluecheck Blues

Yesterday was the end of the line for the Twitter bluecheck. You can still get one, but you’ll have to pay for it. And anybody who has a bluecheck but won’t pay for it will lose it, as of (ostensibly) today. If you can pay for it, you can get it. (I believe you only have to prove your identity.) It will cost you eight bucks a month. What’s that? Two lattes at Starbucks? Cheap! But as it happens, paying for it isn’t the point.


There are a couple of problems with the pre-Musk bluecheck. It was free, but bestowed only upon those judged worthy, via a process completely opaque outside of being politically slanted. This led to a noxious side effect: It created a sort of online aristocracy with a built-in echo chamber that dominated the whole platform.

Elites are always a problem, because they consider themselves above the condition of ordinary people and not bound by ordinary people’s limitations. On Twitter, they’re mostly just stuffed shirts who lucked into Harvard and scored a job in a newspaper somewhere. (Or just happen to be celebrities famous mostly for being famous.)

Much bluecheck dudgeon has been hurled around about having to pay for what was once free, or (way worse!) knowing that any prole with 8 bucks to spare can have the same badge. The connotation of the badge changed, from “I‘m a demigod” to “I support the new Twitter.” OMG! NO WAY! I’M LEAVING!

The big question now, of course, is whether the malcontents will actually leave the platform. We all know how many people threatened to quit Twitter when Musk bought it. The Atlantic has an interesting article on the phenomenon. (Nominally paywalled, but they will give you a couple of free articles.) I’ve posted here about the supposed mass migration from Twitter to Mastodon. Mastodon grew hugely after the beginning of the Musk era, to the annoyance of a lot of long-time Mastodoners. The open question is how thoroughly the emigrants burned their bridges as they went.

This month we may finally find out.


  1. Bob Wilson says:

    The Twitter wars continue. Now NPR has quit because Musk labeled their account: state funded media. Lol As zerohedge notes, they did not delete their existing content.

    OT what is looks like the big publishers are making high e-book prices stick. As you noted, patience pays. I have about six library accounts and, if I wait, I can usually borrow a best seller ebook.

  2. Bob Wilson says:

    Sort of related to Twitter, some good news

    “Cultural juggernauts like Netflix and The New York Times are more likely to support Twitter’s worldview than challenge it. Yet both have recently revealed some refreshing dissident streaks.

    Now a third powerhouse comes along poised to do the same.

    HBO Max has announced plans to team up with Twitter villain J.K. Rowling to produce a new series based on the author’s ultra-popular Harry Potter books. The decision might lead to the eventual uncancelling of Rowling, and it also represents the latest in a series of blows to cancel culture itself. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *