Upon Further Inspection
Elon Musk’s $8 Twitter Verification Plan Is Good, Actually
According to a comedian who happens to have a blue checkmark.
On Nov. 1, new Twitter CEO Elon Musk floated the idea of users retaining or acquiring their blue checkmarks for $8 per month. He claims the new proposal will help Twitter “pay the bills,” which really seems more like his problem than ours. Outrage immediately followed his announcement, with hordes of people claiming they’d quit the website if such a plan came to fruition. I think they’re misguided.
For one thing, blue checkmarks aren’t well distributed as is. They’ve been given out to anyone who had a byline in any publication before 2015. For another, I believe there are important benefits to this charge, including:
- Only real, verified people, like big companies, will have blue checkmarks. This is very important, since we’re all exhausted wondering if the tweets we’re seeing come from the real Kroger.
- We will find out exactly which of our friends are willing to pay $96 per year for a blue checkmark. In some cases, we might be that friend.
- Fewer people will use Twitter once it becomes clear that the algorithm prioritizes paying customers. It will simultaneously frustrate creators, who want their tweets seen, and consumers, who want to see the best content.
- Before long, many people will delete their accounts.
- In the time they could have spent on Twitter, these former users will undertake significantly more fulfilling activities, like spending time with loved ones, gardening, or recycling.
- Everyone who’s gotten off Twitter in the last year will have significantly more mental clarity and perspective, and rates of depression will drop.
- Elon Musk will receive news that Twitter is doing poorly, and this will compel him to stop tweeting for about six minutes, during which time the small fraction of us still on Twitter will breathe a global sigh of relief.
- In these six minutes, diehard Twitter users will experience the mental health boons those who quit Twitter had been enjoying for months.
- No one will use Twitter anymore.
- But eventually, the tide will start to turn. It’s hard to keep hot takes bottled up inside. Former Twitter users will need a place to let them run wild on the internet. What if the world doesn’t know what you thought of AOC’s haircut?
- Former Twitter users will turn to TikTok.
- People who tweeted only about politics, TV shows from the early 2000s, and our planet’s imminent demise will begin sharing their dour takes on what was once a fun dance app.
- TikTok will become saturated with the exact same negativity that once existed on Twitter.
- TikTok will now become such a depressing app to use that the Gen-Z stars will flee it en masse. Looking for somewhere on the internet that’s safe for them to be fun and cool and not cheugy, they’ll turn to Twitter.
- Twitter will be cool once more.
- And it will all be thanks to Elon Musk.