The Boy Who Cried “Check Mark!”

Will you get a gray, gold, or blue check mark? No, it’s not your 4th grade spelling test, but instead Elon’s new idea for verification: gray for governments, gold for companies, and blue for people and bots and trolls. Oh, wait. Maybe he won’t verify the bots… but how will he know? Elon has not shared how he plans to make this work better than his initial attempt at verification (which was an epic fail).

The crazy thing: I want this to work. I want him to require a driver’s license or some other government-issued identification. I want someone at Twitter to check to ensure that real people are held accountable for each tweet. At that point, Twitter will be in the identity business, which will be good for everyone: users, advertisers, and Elon.

If Twitter truly checks accounts that get check marks (and becomes disciplined about the process), you’ll be able to ignore every account without a check mark. Of course, I’m dreaming; there’s no way that Elon is going to be disciplined about identification and verification. But… there is a non-zero chance he gets this right. If he does, Twitter will be better for it.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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