Richard Osman issues warning as Twitter removes blue checkmarks

Elon Musk’s overhaul of the platform’s verification system has led to concerns that fake news and online impersonation will increase

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 20 April 2023 11:36 BST
Elon Musk claims US government had 'full access' to Twitter DMs before his takeover

Richard Osman has issued a warning to his Twitter followers as the social media platform begins to remove the blue checkmarks that distinguish verified profiles from accounts that are paying for them.

On Wednesday (19 April), Twitter announced: “Tomorrow, 4/20, we are removing legacy verified checkmarks.” The company then posted links to where individuals and organisations can sign up to pay to remain verified.

In a quote tweet, Pointless presenter and author Osman wrote to his 1.2 million followers: “Farewell blue tick, old friend. Don’t forget, always set your feed to ‘Following’ rather than ‘For You’. Then you’ll keep seeing the people you actually follow, and not people who’ve paid for attention.”

Twitter said it is getting rid of its “legacy” blue ticks today following Elon Musk’s contentious decision to change the platform’s verification system.

Numerous checkmarks are expected to vanish from Twitter accounts for users who do not want to pay £11 a month for the blue badge.

The “legacy” blue ticks were initially given to verified accounts belonging to celebrities, politicians, journalists and organisations.

But following Musk’s takeover, only those subscribed to Twitter Blue can keep a blue tick, while organisations and brands must now pay for a gold tick.

There has been concern that allowing users to simply pay for verified status will lead to the spreading of fake news and an increase in impersonations online.

Responding to the news of the verification overhaul last year, comedian Kathy Burke, an active user of the platform, tweeted: “Musk can f*** off with his idea of charging blue-tickers. I give my all to this hell site for FREE. Cheeky b**** should be paying ME. Don’t need the poxy thing anyway.”

She added: “He may take our vibes but he’ll never take our memedom!”

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