Several news sites have reported getting their ‘Official’ Grey checkmark on Twitter earlier this morning, but now those checkmarks have gone away. It seems Chief Twit want to prioritize who gets those Grey Checkmarks first (and it is not individuals).
Elon Musk claims he “just killed” the deployment hours after it began. The gray checkmarks have vanished from those accounts that only just got them, including Engadget’s and The New York Times. With that said, this isn’t necessarily a complete about-face. Twitter VP Esther Crawford clarified that you’ll still see the marks, but that the social media giant is handing them out to “government and commercial entities” at first. The focus just isn’t on individuals, the executive said.
In justifying the move, Musk reiterated his view that tying the original checkmark to a Twitter Blue subscription will democratize the service. The blue check is the “great leveler,” he said. Crawford, meanwhile, stressed that there were no more “sacred cows” and that Musk was willing to try things that might fail. The company is willing to reverse course if feature changes don’t pan out, to put it differently.
TechCrunch humorously apologized to their readers over the loss of their Grey Checkmark:
For a few hours this morning, TechCrunch was recognized by Elon Musk’s newest plaything, Twitter, as a news organization with enough merit to warrant a highly coveted “official” designation. We regret to inform our readership that this elite classification has since been rescinded… along with the designation on all other accounts that earned this momentous honor.
I do love how they described Twitter as “Elon Musk’s newest plaything”…wonder how long it will take him to get bored with Twitter and sell it off to someone else? Though he just sold off around $4 Billion (19.5 million shares) in Tesla stock on Tuesday. While it has not been disclosed why, much speculation is to payoff some of the $13 Billion debt Chief Twit took on when he bought Twitter. Or it could be funding the severance payout for the 3700+ Twitter employees he let ago last Friday.