This morning, Elon Musk’s Twitter started rolling out its new gray checkmark, not to be confused with the famous blue checkmark, that will soon be democratized and available to all for a mere monthly payment of $8. Gawker is lucky enough to have one. Check it out.
So get this: the blue checkmark verifies that we are real, but the gray checkmark verifies that we are official. I technically agree that the issue with having one checkmark specify both “real” and “official” was a fundamental flaw of Jack Dorsey’s Twitter, but I would not have come up with a solution of “there’s one checkmark that you pay for and one that you don’t.” But then again I didn’t major in business.
What happens if Gawker chooses not to maintain its blue checkmark? Will we only be a gray checkmark account? Is this sort of like how they call the New York Times the “Gray Lady”? I wonder what kind of checkmark system they’re going to opt for.
Let’s take a look at the double checkmark system again.
So soon there will be a kind of “three-party system” of blue checkmark slash gray checkmark accounts that’ll look something like this:
1. Verified accounts
These accounts will have a blue checkmark. The blue checkmark will now cost $8 a month. Seeing these blue checkmarks will connote that the account in question is willing to simp for Elon Musk’s new Twitter even though there’s nothing really in it for them. Consider sole blue checks wannabes and hangers on.
2. Official accounts
These accounts will rock! Soon the “real people” who are “official” like Gawker (I actually have no idea what Gawker will do) will forfeit their blue checkmark but be granted the gray checkmark to confirm they are official but that they don’t pay $8 a month. A gray checkmark is effortless, understated, and chic, like a simple gold chain. It says “Yes, I’m famous, but let’s not make it a whole thing. I’m just here to have dinner with my daughter.”
3. Verified, official accounts
Okay… these accounts… first: they’re official. Second: they’re verified. They will be official, but also opt to pay $8 a month, proving themselves not only verified but in possession of $8 to throw around. Very nouveau!
All in all, this system is ugly, tedious, and confusing, and I would argue it also summons more complex and bizarre ways to sort people on Twitter into subcategories about whom to subtweet. Soon we will all be typing “gray checks” in a kind of derogatory way, and that’s beautiful, if not also stupid.