Monday, October 2, 2023

Twitter removes Osinbajo, Tinubu, Atiku, Obi verification badges in massive shake-up

“Legacy verification gone. I no dey pay shishi.”

• April 21, 2023

Microblogging platform Twitter has begun removing verification tags from accounts of top politicians, government officials, journalists, and celebrities in Nigeria. 

Checks by Peoples Gazette Friday morning on their official Twitter handles showed that President-elect Bola Tinubu, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, and ex-Anambra Governor Peter Obi are among those deprived of their Twitter ‘legacy’ verified blue ticks in the shake-up. 

President Muhammadu Buhari and the federal government’s accounts were spared.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was not spared in the tsunami at Twitter since American billionaire Elon Musk paid $44 billion to acquire the company.

Also affected by the shake-up are singers Davido, Burna Boy, and Wizkid. 

Benjamin Hundeyin, the police spokesman in Lagos, also lost his verification badge but tweeted, “Legacy verification gone. I no dey pay shishi.” 

Traditionally, the verification tag, a blue checkmark beside a user’s name, was used by Twitter to confirm that an account is authentic and belongs to the person or organisation it claims to represent. It has become a status symbol, especially for individuals, to boost their credibility on social media. 

With over 40 million estimated users in Nigeria, Twitter has asked anyone who desires the blue tick to pay $8 (about N5,000) monthly or $84 (N52,900) annually to use the Twitter Blue service with added features.

This decision came as part of Mr Musk’s efforts to rid the so-called “lords & peasants system for who has or doesn’t have a blue checkmark.”

Earlier in the month, Mr Musk had tweeted that the “final date for removing legacy blue checks is April 20.”

Several users have continued to criticise the controversial decision by Mr Musk to switch up the platform’s verification system.

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