The blue checks wanted to abolish billionaires, in the name of equality.... | by Balaji



about 1 month ago

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The blue checks wanted to abolish billionaires, in the name of equality. The billionaire will end up abolishing the blue checks, in the name of equality.

Of course, these aren't disjoint sets. Many billionaires have blue checks. But roughly speaking: blue checks are about status and tech billionaires about startups. It's old money vs new money. Old money wanted to kill new money. New money is wiping out the status of old money.

The blue check actually arose as an anti- impersonation tool. Twitter was *forced* to implement it after complaints. But people who are impersonated tend to be "important". So it became a status symbol. Especially for writers. Now that may dissolve.

The one form of equality a journalist will always resist is the idea that everyone is now equal to a journalist. But that's what universal verification does. Everyone who needs one can pay for a blue check. Bots get taxed. Twitter makes money. Establishment journos hardest hit.

Further reading 1) @sriramk on social networks as games: 2) @eugenewei on status as a service: 3) And @gabrielleydon on server-rolling:

What's the next step after zeroing out the status boost of blue checks? Perhaps as @micsolana proposes, it's banning the mention of college names in interviews. Zero out that credential, and make applicants take a coding test (or equivalent) from scratch!

Of course, it works on multiple levels. It is "just" a feature that gives the people what they want, taxes bots, and makes money for Twitter. Yet it also has salutary ancillary effects.

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