Twitter Blue accounts went live earlier this week and all hell broke loose as trolls used the $7.99 a month subscription to their advantage to sow chaos and spread misinformation by impersonating big companies.
Twitter's legacy verification system - the one that put a blue checkmark into the names of a select few - used to be the reason why people went on Twitter. If an account had a check, it meant that the celebrity, public official, or company, that was tweeting, was their legitimate account. This also explains why launches, apologies, and PR statements, are almost always released on Twitter.
But, ever since Elon Musk came in and brought a sink to mark his territory as the new Twitter CEO, things haven't gone so well for the platform. Case in point, the still-prevalent disinformation that's so common on the platform right now because of the recent steps new management has taken.
As soon as the feature went live, Twitter Blue users flexed their "investment" by posting fake and unbecoming news. In video games, companies like Nintendo and Rockstar Games were among the biggest targets. Fans of the latter, in particular, was subject to a post by a certain "RockstarGamse" that advertised an upcoming GTA 6 showcase. Although these may seem like harmless pranks from the outside, it does cast doubt on the legitimacy of information on Twitter.
The social media platform's subsequent actions don't inspire confidence either. Twitter initially added a second "official" marker to certain notable accounts only for Elon Musk to kill the said feature just a day later. If it's any consolation, you can click the blue check mark to see if it's part of the Twitter Blue subscription program or if it's a legitimate check given by Twitter. However, this doesn't solve the issue of the creation of fake accounts and the headaches this causes.
Either way, browsing Twitter is an exercise of caution for the foreseeable future. If you see a new announcement or shocking news, don't believe it immediately. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
It'll be a while before things stabilize on Twitter, partly because Musk doesn't seem like he's too sure about what he should. Musk tweeted recently that he will remove all legacy blue check marks because they are "corrupt" while also replacing the ones that aren't with a gray check mark. Musk also confirmed that Twitter Blue accounts will get additional benefits aside from the blue checks such as the ability to edit tweets (within 30 minutes), an improved news-reading experience, as well as customization options. Finally, Musk has suggested that he'll make Twitter Blue better in the future by cutting ads in half, priority placement for tweets, and the option to upload longer videos.
TLDR; after a decade and a half of being a mostly free-to-play social media platform, Twitter is about to cost you $96 a year to enjoy with minimal issues. Hopefully, Mark Zuckerberg isn't taking notes.