Who pays to verify?

Twitter is all a fluster about the new management’s impending rule that one will have to pay to have a blue check next to their name. The blue checks have been a status symbol. To have a check means you’ve arrived at being someone recognizable. To get a check you need to get checked out, and verified that you’re not some Russian bot.

Stephen King says he is having nothing of it. The highlighted tweet has now accumulated half a million likes. The blue check fee is now floating out at $8/mo. Mr. King has not left Twitter yet. So you can see, the situation is still in flux.

But who should pay to verify? Who should be the watchdog of group action? There are government agencies such as the attorney general and the state auditor. I bring those two up in particular as it appears they will both be voted out of office next week. Is someone who received a salary for a surveillance job as good as someone who takes a private hit due to group member’s action?

Many groups self-regulate through an associational process. First off the keenest view of the situation is seen by those who stand shoulder to shoulder in the same environment. Their judgment of the legitimacy of a complaint is going to be more reliable. Their ability to get the right information to the right people is more probable.

But the most significant incentive is the maintenance of the reputation of the profession to the outside world. A degradation of stature would be internalized by each member. Thus the expense of voluntary surveillance of one’s group is borne out of the risk of loss should a ne’re-do-well drag the team into the mud.

I believe this supports Musk’s instincts to charge those who play to pay.