Twitter verification confusion reigns — and even Elon Musk seems lost

Elon Musk in front of the Twitter logo
(Image credit: Future)

April 1 was supposed to be the end of the legacy verified checkmark, but for many nothing changed. Now, confusion reigns about what comes next with Twitter making it harder for people to tell which verified users have legacy accounts and who paid for that checkmark.

It might appear as if Twitter has delayed the removal of legacy checkmarks, but that hasn't been confirmed as yet. It also comes as Musk confirmed that some accounts will lose their checkmarks in double-quick time if they say they don't intend to pay for Twitter Blue.

The number of people who have so far refused to pay up include basketball megastar LeBron James, Star Trek legend William Shatner, and others.

Verified or not, nobody knows

The weekend saw mass confusion about whether people would see their checkmarks disappear as of that Twitter-imposed April 1 deadline. Musk said in a tweet that people would be given a period of grace before the checkmarks went away. He also said that if people say they won't pay, "we will remove it."

Musk then deleted the tweet, but not before screenshots were taken for posterity. It isn't clear why Musk deleted the tweet — was he wrong, or does he not understand his own system? Either seems equally possible.

As if the verification system wasn't already confusing enough, Twitter also took the opportunity to change how it describes its checkmarks.

Previously, the checkmark's label said that the account was either a legacy one or "verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue.”

That's now changed, with all accounts saying “this account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.” The change means it's effectively impossible to know why an account has a checkmark.

For now, verified users are left in limbo. Many legacy checkmarks remain and seem likely to do so for a little while yet. For now, we'd suggest just ignoring the noise — all the very best headphones can help there — and seeing how things shake out. 

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.