If you had not already been made aware of the news—and I admire and respect everyone whose life choices means they are not—Twitter owner and exploding vehicle connoisseur Elon Musk spent the weekend further ruining his $44 billion purchase by messing around with the remains of the platform’s “verification” system.
For much of Twitter’s existence, certain users could be “verified” by confirming their identity with the site. This was an essential tool for celebrities, athletes, businesses and the media, people who may or may not have been famous, but who were all at risk of having their accounts impersonated in the name of disinformation and scams.
And for almost as long, certain weirdos had a thing about this, seeing a system designed solely to prove a user were who they said they were—a necessity on a social media platform—as a symptom of, I dunno, some kind of leftist media woke conspiracy.
This is a big reason Musk finally got around to removing this old verification system last week, replacing it with a “verified” system that required users pay $8 to receive a “verified” badge, even though absolutely nothing about their identity was being “verified” at all.
Anyway, things got especially absurd when over the weekend it emerged that almost none of the formerly verified accounts were going to pay the $8. Not even millionaire celebrities. In fact many even publicly mocked Musk and the decision. In return, Musk himself ordered that certain high profile users be given a verified badge anyway, at Twitter’s expense, leading to incredible scenes like Lebron James turning down the offer and video game deals man Wario64—who has over 1 million followers, making him one of the site’s more popular users— having a “blue checkmark” forcibly hoisted on his account, then later removed again.
Amidst all the chaos, one notable (and wild) set of responses to events in the video game space came from Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games. I’m pasting his entire Twitter thread in full here, mostly so you can see the number of times he is so wrong he has to be officially corrected:
(Note: the #BlockTheBlue hashtag came from people figuring out very quickly that the kind of person who would pay Musk $8 a month for Twitter is also the kind of person you would want to block on sight)
This man complaining about high school cliques and supposed “elites” is 52 years old and is worth almost $5 billion.