Ah, Verification. You know— barring a technical error, I never was Verified on Twitter. Seems funny now; it’s February 11th, 2023, as I write this, and Elon-め has just freshly announced that ‘legacy’ checkmarks (those awarded to entities deemed notable, before Elon’s reign of fucking terror), are goin’ away. He’s said it before; but, now, they’re goin’ away. Real soon, now!
I have no doubt he’s going to pull them the next time he gets owned real bad on his Hellsite. Hell, maybe he already has done that to other people who pissed him off!
I have to ask, though. What, if anything, was trying to get one of these things even worth?
What the fuck was this thing?
Verification was never well-defined, nor its purpose ever really explained at all. Born out of a desire to no longer get sued by baseball players, checkmarks were once handed out as literal party favors. If you were a musician in the early 2010s, you could get Verified super fuckin’ easy: Twitter was just that horny to onboard standard-issue ‘popular’ people. And if you were one of the Bay Area’s darlings who was only famous for being famous, well, you’d get one, too. Shit, gamer, you were at the front of the line.
The check was supposedly once ‘awarded’ to people (companies, really) who spent a minimum of $5,000 USD on ads, per month. For some, they simply needed to know a girl, and, bam, kid— you were Verified.
It was one of those things that was given out mostly based on who you knew. It wasn’t handed out fairly: famous film-makers, singers, and even a Supreme Court Justice were once snubbed for the `mark. Hell, Dick Butkus wasn’t Verified— probably because the people at Twitter didn’t recognize who the fuck he was. (That, or the system really did not actually work. Chances are, the Verification Request system was just a big ol’ ‘Suggestion Box’, attached to a shredder.)
Twitter has Verified bots; the Verification toolkit that employees use is either command-line based, or you at least have to type the name in somewhere, because the wrong person has been Verified more than once based on a simple typo. Not that such a thing really matters; Elon Musk has hollowed out Twitter to the point where I doubt most of these systems even exist in the same form. That shit’s all over.
But it’s fun to talk about how broken it once was. Like— in the time that the original blue check existed, no less than 3 people who were dead, were Verified by Twitter. Richard Pryor; Albert Einstein; and Marilyn Monroe, if you want to know who’s who. The funniest thing for me is all three of them were dead long before Twitter was even the merest of twinkles in its founders’ balls.
So, what was it really for? Well, besides acting as a sort of dumbass anti-lawsuit charm— something that was probably as efficacious as the Fair Use copypasta one might put in a YouTube upload of a Beatles song— it seemed to make famous people work for free, providing Twitter with substantial, usually exclusive content. It was, in nearly every meaning of the term, the Concierges Sans Salaire worksman’s badge of Twitterdom.
And I wanted it.
Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.
It’s a tale as old as time: somebody sexually harasses your friend on the Internet; you step in and defend them from a sex pervert; and, suddenly, you are blacklisted from being Verified on Twitter. Happens to the best of us!
Happened to me.
No, seriously. That shit really fucking happened.
Back about a year before the Verification Request form happened— before even journalists knew that it was gonna be a thing— a major stakeholder in Twitter decided to creep on one of my friends. I humiliated them; all their friends laughed at them; and that absolute doorknob of a human being, they say to me, ‘just for that, you will never be Verified on Twitter!’.
And I was like— because this was 2013, 2014, somewhere around that— why would I give a shit? You can’t even apply for it!.
If only I knew.
If I knew, I still would’ve humiliated them.
But I don’t think I would’ve kept trying for the `mark.
I tried, and was denied, 43 fucking times.
I’ve gotten in every major Western news outlet. For two weeks, I was on every nightly news show.
Still wasn’t enough.
I’m thinking I pissed off a Saudi fuckin’ Prince, yo.
Why Try Harder?
So, being who I is— a person who virulently hates hierarchies, and has no respect for authority, but especially not for authoritative markers, and ranks— why would I aspire for the badge? The singular best symbol I have ever seen, to denote that somebody is a fucking idiot dumbass moron fuckmocker?
Well, you see, kids, there was once a place called Vid.me.
Following the formation and launch of Vid.me— requiescat in pacem, you were a good little baby lamb— I asked, yo, can I get Verified?
And they said, yeah.
And it was the first time I ever got Verified.
They just gave it to me.
And that’s when I realized— oh. That’s just a thing they can turn on. You don’t actually have to work for that, anywhere. Somebody can just turn that on for you.
I think the Vid.me people would eventually go on to invent NFTs, which, at the time (2017? 2018??), I had no idea what in the fuck they were. But, theoretically, they provided a way for artists to make shitloads of money off of dumb rich cunts. And if there’s anything I like, it’s making rich people poor.
And, quite honestly? I don’t give a single fuck about NFTs, either way. I hate crypto, and I hate the blockchain. NFTs are whatever; I don’t feel any real malice towards them. And, Vid.me, having been nice to me, I wholeheartedly supported this thing I had no idea what the fuck it was. Hey, if it made them happy!
If only I knew.
So I guess what you can say, is, NFTs are to blame for this entire thing.
Having been given one checkmark— my first— an honor, much like being modded on Arcadium, only this time I wouldn’t crash the fucking servers on purpose—
Let’s go over that story, first. Back on Arcadium, we were in Java-based chatrooms, ostensibly connected to dumbass ‘headless’ IRC servers. (They couldn’t easily go into them; that’s all I knew. Hardcoded, apparently.) But these IRC servers, they also connected to the overall computer system(s?)’s, what do you call it, Command and Control Centers? Something like that. Well, anyway, they took commands. To manipulate the server. The commands just weren’t listed. And even if they were listed, you had to have the proper user level, or they would just ban your account.
I saw a moderator (an actual employee, of the company that ran Arcadium), run the command that restarted the servers.
And when she modded me, for seven seconds, that was all the time I needed to run the command, and restart the servers.
. . .
So anyway, that was my first checkmark. And you would think, getting one in the color Purple, my favorite color— well, besides Orange, and Gold— that would be enough.
But it only emboldened me. See, if I could get one, I thought— what else can I get?
And that’s why I’m in the position I’m in today.
Because getting that very first checkmark put me on the road to improving my self-esteem, to the point where I’m actually a lot mentally healthy, now. (Not nearly as sunny as I used to be, unfortunately. Christ, I was silly, back then. I wish I could be, again.)
But why does she climb the mountain?
You may ask yourself, icze4r, why did you fucking crash the servers on purpose, in the only place you ever really called home, online?
As George Carlin once said, that’s just some shit you’re gonna have to figure out, yourself. But, seriously:
Was there malice there? Probably not; I was nine. But, more than that, it points to a larger aspect of my personality: Curiosity. I’ve always pursued ‘fame’, and anything resembling it, because I wanted to see secret aspects of human nature. I wanted to reach the mountain top, to see why others climbed it.
Curiously, I never really figured out why human beings climb to the mountaintop.
There has never been anything there for me.
But how about a real reason?
Originally, it was just about curiosity: could I get around the gatekeepers? Could I figure out a way to ‘win’? Was I smart enough to figure out a way to get anything that I wanted, just using my brain?
The results proved promising. Sadly there is ultimately no real reason to try for anything more. There was no real reason to try in the first place: but I was curious.
Eventually, as my priorities shifted, and I started trying to be less selfish, I reckoned that I could use any sort of Verification as a jumping-off-point, or an ‘official’ platform, to spread information about the space aliems. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized— if fucking extraterrestrial lifeforms land, it doesn’t fucking matter who has a checkmark. Mine certainly wouldn’t matter.
In the end, it all stemmed from a desire to get the star stickers. I’ve told the story before: when I was in preschool, there was a racist white guy who was only handing out star stickers (for ‘good work’, etc) to white children. As one of the only non-white children, he specifically ignored me— and, when I questioned him, he called me a nigger and told me I didn’t deserve anything, really.
He ended up getting fired, and the entire situation taught me— if I want something, I have to go for it. It became a matter of principle: I had been more famous than most famous people. I had been everywhere. If I wasn’t ‘eligible’ for it, then, God damn, what did it fucking take?
And I wanted to see if I was really ‘blacklisted’. Turns out, I was— far as I can tell. Hardly matters now.
The reality of the situation is, if somebody wants to keep you from getting something, chances are, they’re going to manage to keep that from you. You can try as hard as you want; you can succeed as much as you can; you can work three, four, five times harder than a white guy. But if that bitch has all the stickers, and he doesn’t want to give you one, well, my friend: it’s going to be mighty hard to get a sticker.
The Heart of the Matter.
I do want to mention: the reason I was ultimately blacklisted from being Verified on Twitter (and, the reason that I am actually blacklisted from ever being included in Wikipedia— something they tried and failed at), is because I am, at my heart, a shit disturber. When I was a kid, I got banned from places because I would speak up when nobody else would. Everybody else is a pussy before mein very ojos.
But really, that’s what it is. On World of Warcraft, I got threatened with a permaban, by at least two GMs, because I kept on reporting a pedophile who was actively grooming a child through the service. (The pedo seemed to be a friend of the GMs.)
When it came to the Sailor Moon community, I got banished from it for objecting to a thirty year old who had a tween as a ‘girlfriend’. (By the very same thirty-year-old.)
When it came to Marathon— actually, I completely destroyed that fucking community, by telling on the people who were harassing a little kid.
And when it came to Twitter, I reported so much child pornography to NCMEC, and Twitter itself, that NCMEC stepped in, like a parent crashing a party. It was fun. Twitter fucking stopped sending me confirmation e-mails for any of my reports, after that: they must have marked me, then.
Then there was the time I started the slow, gradual, eventual heartbleed that will eventually fell Western ‘civilization’.
Y’know— normal stuff.
In the end, I could have a checkmark, and remain silent while bad things happened to pretty ladies and children— or I could speak up, and get blacklisted.
I’ve been blacklisted every time.
Fancy a game of Chess?
In Closing, Ladies and Jellystones.
I guess I should be sad.
The reality is, I’m not. But this has been a truly strange… ‘adventure’? I don’t know what to call it.
And it’s only going to get stranger.
Where we’re going, kids,
checkmarks won’t matter.
that’s all I’ve got right now, I’m tired. bye-bye I loves you c(◕ᴗ◕✿)