Loser energy is contagious. That’s why anyone who spends too much time with Logan Paul also becomes a moron with the comedic flair of a steroid-pumped chihuahua. That’s also why having any kind of social street cred on Twitter has become increasingly undesirable ever since Elon Musk bought the platform last year.
Case in point: the blue tick.
As anyone with the bird app on their phone will know, one of the most significant changes Musk has made since his tyrannical Twitter takeover is the introduction of paid-for blue ticks last November, offering verification as part of the Twitter Blue subscription service.
Almost immediately, the social value of having a little symbol next to your handle to signify that you’re someone plummeted, despite the fact that its economic value had technically risen (in the UK, a Twitter Blue subscription costs up to £11). Because paying to look like you’re important online is cringe. Handing over your hard-earned cash to Musk for that privilege? Even worse.
There was a shred of hope, though. At first, “legacy” blue ticks were honoured, and famous people and normies who’d managed to convince their mate at Twitter to verify their accounts pre-Elon were allowed to keep their online VIP status. But now, the brief, halcyon days of legacy blue ticks have ended. On Thursday, Twitter stripped every single legacy account of their badges of superiority, leaving everyone from the Conservative Party to Beyoncé without any indication that their account is, in fact, really, really them.
Oh well. While there’s a legitimate need for genuinely important public figures – say, Joe Biden or Yvette Cooper – to be verified to prevent impersonators from wreaking havoc in world politics, the rest of celebdom should think of this as a big favour. Blue ticks are no longer cool, clouty or even credible. After all, what’s to stop Joe Blogs from subscribing to Twitter Blue, changing their name to Nicki Minaj and sending the Barbz to attack James Blunt?
Instead of rushing to buy a Twitter Blue subscription, everyone should take a page out of Ice Spice’s book. The rapper has never had a blue tick on the platform and she’s undeniably one of the coolest people in the world right now. And, honestly, the fact that she appears to have made no effort to become verified on Twitter since she blew up last summer only makes her cooler. Crowned “the people’s princess” by fans, her blue-tickless feed is a mark of the relatability and ineffable charm that turned her into a superstar in less than a year.
And one thing is certain: celebrities are in desperate need of bonus relatability points. Between the cost-of-living crisis and Kim K’s tone deaf calls for people to “get your fucking ass up and work”, the glamorous lives of the rich and famous have become bad for their brands. Collecting Birkins in every colour and flying in a private jet leaves a bad taste in the mouths of people more concerned with how they’re going to afford rent and survive impending climate catastrophe.
Relinquishing the blue tick may seem like a simple solution to celebs’ relatability crisis, but it works. Halle Berry, for instance, responded to the news that legacy ticks would disappear with an old video of her walking onto a chat show, with the caption: “Me joining you all tomorrow unverified.” The non-verified Twitter community bloody loved it. “Halle is just like me fr fr,” tweeted one user, while another astute observer said: “What is so funny about these Verified check marks is that only non-famous attention seeks still have them. LOL. I love @halleberry’s view on it.”
Unfortunately for a small handful of celebs, Musk has charitably decided to pay for some Twitter Blue subscriptions out of his own pocket – even when they don’t want it. “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t,” clarified Stephen King, one of the few people Musk deemed worthy of a free tick. Even the king of horror knows that nothing is more terrifying than being associated with one of Musk’s enterprises.
Now, the blue tick only verifies that you’re either a Musk fanboy (embarrassing) or deluded enough to think an £11 digital badge will make you look more impressive (also embarrassing). Celebs, save your cash and, more importantly, self-respect. On 20th April 2023, the tick became an instant ick.
And Twitter will be dead by next year anyway.