Twitter starts rolling out its 'official' checkmarks to celebrities and publishers (updated)

It's the solution to a problem Twitter created.


You didn't have to wait long to see Twitter's reworked verification system in action. The social network has begun adding its subtle "official" checkmarks to major accounts, including those of celebrities, large publishers and politicians. This includes Engadget, The Verge and general publications like The New York Times. Curiously, though, new Twitter owner Elon Musk doesn't have the mark yet — you'd think he'd adopt it quickly given the many impersonators who use his name to pitch crypto scams.

VP Esther Crawford previously stressed that the "official" badge won't be available for purchase, unlike the blue checkmarks that will come with an $8 Twitter Blue subscription. Those that previously received blue ticks won't necessarily get the second label, however. It's not yet certain if those seeking the extra mark will need to go through further vetting.

The complete rollout should be relatively quick. Twitter has been testing the "official" checkmarks for a while, and previously said the deployment should wrap up in the coming days.

To some extent, this feature is fixing a problem Twitter created for itself. Musk and others have blasted the previous approach to verification as an unfair "lords and peasants" system that disenfranchised ordinary users while enshrining a selected elite. While that's true, the old method also established authenticity — the changes to Blue effectively break verification by letting determined fraudsters pay to get a checkmark next to their name, even if that carries the risk of a permanent ban. The "official" mark brings back that trust, although it asks Twitter to once again decide who's deserving of special recognition.

Update 11/9 11:47AM ET: Twitter appears to have removed the new checkmark from many accounts, including Engadget's as well as other known creators and companies. It's not clear why. We've asked Twitter for comment and will let you know if we hear back.