X is giving blue checks to influential users (which is what blue checks were supposed to be all along)

X is giving free blue checks to users who have more than 2500 “verified” followers (or, people that subscribe to X Premium). So, basically this means that if you are a popular poster, you will get a blue check. This also means that these lucky people are frantically posting to make it clear that they didn’t buy a blue check — the blue check was foisted upon them.

“Some personal news: I’m now a serial small business founder in Arizona who posts about fatherhood, faith and what it takes to get a roofing company to $100 million ARR,” a newly minted blue check, Tom Gara, posted.

“This is punishment for posting too much,” another reluctant blue check, Katie Notopoulos, wrote.

Back in days of yore, Twitter’s blue check indicated that a user was influential in some way. Now, this may sound foreign in the age of the paid blue check, but believe me: I was there, way back in the olden times of 2022, when X was Twitter, and Twitter had real advertisers, rather than a bunch of ads for drop-shipped AliExpress products. Back then, blue checks actually helped us determine if public figures are who they say they are. So if someone was popular on Twitter, perhaps because they’re a celebrity, an influencer or a journalist, they would get a blue check, which could also help reduce the spread of misinformation.

Until today, having a blue check meant one of a few things: you’re desperate to feel important, you really want to use X’s premium features, you’re being impersonated so much that it’s worth giving Elon Musk $8 a month, or you’re a crypto spam bot.

Now, we’re not quite back to square one, but Elon has, in fact, reinvented the original purpose of the blue check. And yet, you still won’t be able to distinguish a “real” blue check from that reply guy who really wants you to buy their memecoin.

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