I'm a Twitter celebrity... now get me out of here
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Thursday 15 March 2012
Just like any social group, Twitter has its orders and hierarchies. It's sometimes described as having a level playing field, but that's only true in the sense that we all have an equal chance of being ignored by Lady Gaga, Stephen Fry or Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.
The Twitterati even have their own "verified" status symbol, a blue tick, to reassure followers that they are who they say they are. The blue tick places them in first class while we sit in economy, lobbing bread rolls about.
But Twitter has now given me a blue tick. I didn't ask for it, it just appeared. Immediately the atmosphere soured. "Get you, with your blue tick." It felt awful, like I was parading around town with a Bafta.
"Does this mean you're no longer one of us?" asked someone. I couldn't bear it. I posted on Twitter to openly complain about how I wanted rid of it, but "humblebragging" about my tick only made things worse.
Twitter's verification policy has always been confusing – not least when a fake Wendi Deng account was briefly conferred blue tick status a few weeks back. I mean, Stan Collymore has been on the telly, and he doesn't have one. But I do, and it put me in a clique I didn't want to belong to.
Fortunately, 24 hours later a friend of mine who works in IT mysteriously got a blue tick too, which made me feel a bit better. We're planning on spending Christmas with Ashton Kutcher.
(Follow Rhodri and his tick at twitter.com/rhodri)
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