Twitter Strips Washington State Agencies of Blue Checkmark: Verification Vexation!
Twitter Takes Away Free Legacy Blue Checkmarks April 20
If you use Twitter, you may notice that some of your most trusted Washington State agencies look "unofficial" because they lose their "blue checkmarks" today.
Washington State Agencies Made to Pay for Twitter Checkmarks
When Elon Musk decided to take over Twitter, one of the first things he promised to do was make people pay a monthly service for the "blue checkmark" that makes you official on Twitter. The blue checkmark used to be free and had been the easiest way to make sure the person you follow is actually the real person and not an imposter.
First, the date to remove all legacy blue checkmarks was April 11th, but that date was later moved to April 20th. Twitter has been identifying and contacting accounts that will lose their legacy blue checkmarks starting today including lots of Washington State Government agencies.
Snoqualmie Pass Twitter Account Explains Fight with Twitter
Yesterday, the official Twitter account Snoqualmie Pass posted that they were losing their blue checkmark sometime today. They used their regular humor to explain what seems like a difficult situation to their Twitter followers. Not only do they lose their blue checkmark but they were denied a grey checkmark that was supposed to be free for all government/multilateral organizations or government/multilateral officials.
More Washington Agencies Declined for Grey Checkmark
The Washington State Department of Transportation also was declined a grey checkmark by Twitter. On their official page, they posted about being declined and the page from the City of Kent answered they are waiting to find out. This seems to be happening to most agency Twitter accounts in Washington State.
Should Government Pages Still Pay for Twitter Verification Checkmark?
Followers of the Snoqualmie Pass Twitter account asked why they just don't pay the $8 per month fee Twitter is making users pay for the blue checkmark. One asks "You guys can’t afford the blue check? What am I paying my taxes for then?"
The Snoqualmie Pass account answers exactly why, and also gives hints that Twitter has been difficult to deal with in solving this problem. It doesn't take a genius to see $8 a month per Washington State agency page would add up quickly.
According to Twitter, all government/multilateral organizations or government/multilateral officials should get a free grey checkmark, but Snoqualmie Pass and Washington State DOT both say they were declined and given no chance for appeal according to their Twitter post.
Why Did Twitter Decline Grey Checkmark?
Is this an oversight, or is there another reason why? Twitter is declining to give answers or offer an appeals process to prove they are an official government agency. Expect most if not all of the official Washington State agency Twitter accounts to lose their blue checkmarks soon (as of now they are all removed). If one agency (Snoqualmie Pass) is refusing to pay the $8 per month fee, expect the other agencies to follow.
This policy just makes it more difficult for users to make sure they are getting information from a trusted source in exchange for a quick buck. Under these rules, a copycat unofficial Twitter account could pay the $8 and fool people into thinking they were the official page of whomever or whatever organization they want. I grey checkmark would help solve that issue, but they have been declined for some reason.
Honestly, most people don't even use Twitter regularly but if you do, be much more careful about where the content you read comes from. By the time I published this article, all Washington State Government agency Twitter pages have had all checkmarks removed from WSDOT to State Trooper pages, police department, and fire pages.