Elon Musk’s Blue Check Mark Policy is a Complete Disaster

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In the modern era of social media, a blue check mark on Twitter has become a symbol of prestige, influence, and validation. It is a sign that you have arrived at a certain level of importance and have been recognized by the platform as someone worth following. However, the new pay-for-blue-check model Twitter has adopted has been a disaster, much like the story of the Sneetches by Dr. Seuss. The lack of clarity and consistency in the pay-for-blue-check model has led to confusion and frustration among users, and its future seems doomed.

In Dr. Seuss’s story of the Sneetches, the Sneetches with stars on their bellies felt superior to the Sneetches without stars. However, when a man came along with a machine that could add stars to Sneetches without them, the Sneetches with stars felt threatened and decided to pay to have their stars removed. Eventually, the Sneetches realized that the whole thing was silly and that they were all the same, regardless of stars or no stars. The lesson here is that attaching value to something superficial can lead to absurd and unnecessary competition. It is doubtful that the humans in the world of Twitter will be as smart as the Sneetches.

The same can be said for the pay-for-blue-check model. When social media platforms first started offering the blue check mark, it was seen as a way to verify the identity of public figures and celebrities. However, as social media evolved, the blue check mark became a way for everyday users to feel important and validated, thanks to the invention of Elon Musk. Under his leadership Twitter decided to monetize this desire by allowing users to pay for a blue check mark.

The problem with this model is that it is not clear what the blue check mark represents. Is it a sign of verification, importance, or influence?  These questions have no clear and consistent answer, which has led to confusion and frustration among users.

Furthermore, the pay-for-blue-check model has led to a new level of absurdity, much like the Sneetches with stars on their bellies. Users are now paying for blue check marks, only to have them removed later because they no longer want to be seen as someone who paid for validation. This is a ridiculous cycle that shows the lack of thought and planning that went into the pay-for-blue-check model.  At first it seemed like Musk had stumbled into a bizarre Sneetches type of story. After further review, it seems like he may have intentionally pursued such.  Like many characters in a Dr. Seuss story, there is a lot of head scratching going on.

Instead of this haphazard approach, social media platforms should have adopted a clear earn-and-pay approach. Users should be able to earn a blue check mark through consistent and meaningful contributions to the platform, certainly the number of followers should have been a factor, etc. Meanwhile, it should be fine for others to pay in order to get the benefits of a subscription. This would provide clarity and consistency.

The current approach of paying for a blue check mark and then potentially losing it because you don’t want to be seen as someone who paid for it is a disaster. It creates confusion, frustration, and a sense of absurdity. Twitter needs to rethink their approach and adopt a clear earn-and-pay model that provides clarity and consistency. This will lead to a more meaningful and valuable blue check mark, one that users can be proud of and one that truly represents their contributions to the platform.

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