Social Media

Here’s How to See Who Paid For a Blue Checkmark on Twitter

In November 2022, Elon Musk rolled out Twitter Blue, a monthly subscription that gives users access to a variety of features, such as the edit button and custom navigation, as well as a blue checkmark to the subscriber’s name.

But the integration of Twitter Blue has been widely controversial from the beginning, with the platform pausing the service just one week after it launched in 2022 because users were abusing the checkmark to impersonate celebrities and spread misinformation. Twitter then relaunched the service about three weeks later.

Related: ‘A Serious Concern’: Journalist Paints a Harrowing Picture of What’s to Come With Twitter Blue After Her Account Is Cloned

Most recently, Twitter added a note on user-verified accounts stating: “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.”

“Now the blue checkmark may mean two different things: either that an account was verified under the previous verification criteria (active, notable, and authentic), or that the account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue,” Twitter states on its Help Center page.

Unsurprisingly, many users who were not Twitter Blue subscribers responded with humor and resentment.

But is it possible to tell which accounts are legacy verified users and which are Twitter Blue subscribers?

Now, there’s a new browser extension called Eight Dollars, which users can add to see who is verified under the “previous criteria,” and who paid for the blue checkmark — restoring a level of transparency that has been muddled with the integration of Twitter Blue.

The extension is easy to download and available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Once downloaded, you can customize the settings regarding which text to display to reveal verified accounts versus paid accounts.

When I downloaded the extension on my own browser, I felt a sense of optimism when the genuinely verified accounts vastly outweighed the paid ones — but that’s just who I follow. While certain Twitter accounts were predictable — meme accounts revealed paid stamps, journalists upheld verified badges — there were some surprises, like certain small presses with reputable track records and a best-selling author with over 30,000 followers.

However, Elon Musk’s approach to verification is still questionable. One outlet has already lost its checkmark for refusing to pay for Twitter Blue. The New York Times‘ main account was stripped of its verified badge on Sunday, a move allegedly pushed by Musk, those close to the matter shared with The Washington Post.

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