Social Media for Humans

Why I'm not getting verified (and unfollowing people who are)

July 11, 2023 Alexis Bushnell Season 3 Episode 3
Social Media for Humans
Why I'm not getting verified (and unfollowing people who are)
Show Notes Transcript

Since Twitter launched paid verification (blue ticks, Twitter Blue) Meta has spied a chance to make more money by doing the same thing. I discuss why I'm not paying for verification and why I'm unfollowing people who are.

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Voice over by Hawke Wood:


hello and welcome to social media for humans the podcast that empowers you to do  social differently your host Alexis Bushnell and her guests discuss their experience of  social media as business owners users and ultimately humans with insights and advice  to help you find an effective and ethical strategy that works for you grab yourself  

a drink and join the conversation. Alexis:

hi hello hi, I'm Alexis, my pronouns are she her.  Today we're gonna have a little chat about why I am not paying for verification and why I am  recommending you do not either. Oh I'm bringing the hot takes today, I am bringing the hot takes,  prepare yourselves. Okay number one, verification  previously, free the free version of verification, used to be a protection mechanism.  The entire point of it, and I'm not saying it was perfect it was executed not the best,  however I feel like we could have improved how it was executed instead of changing the whole  thing but anyway. So the point of it used to be that you got verified on any given  platform by essentially proving that you were a known figure, so somebody who was likely to  have their account copied and have people try and pretend to be them that kind of thing,  and proving that you, the account holder, were said person who was an important figure.  There were different ways people did this on different platforms largely regarded being in the  press, so you have to send press clippings, this was part of the problem was that a lot of like  Queer press was not accepted it was only very like a mainstream traditional press that was accepted,  but again we could just have like broadened the amount of press that was allowed to be used to  demonstrate this and stuff like that. There were problems with the system, I know that,  but the point was if you have the little blue tick everybody knew you were that person,  that was your account, that was your only account, it kept you safer  and it kept your followers fans however you want to think about them depending on what  your situation is, it kept them safe because they could, if somebody messaged them and was like "hi  I'm this person that you're a fan of and I want to organise a phone call with you," or  "I'm in dire straits and I need you to send me some money," or "I've got this brand new offer  that I'm selling and if you click this link you can get it at a massive discount." If it  wasn't from the the account with the blue tick it wasn't from you. It was a pretty good safety  mechanism to protect well everybody, so while it wasn't done amazingly well it had a point. Now I'm gonna try not to rant, I can't make any promises, now especially on Twitter literally anybody can pay for a blue tick,  I guess there is technically now a rule because people were like parodying Musk, but you can't  do parody accounts and pretend to be somebody who already exists there is nobody on staff at Twitter  to police that, like they don't have the staff, so I have seen plenty of accounts with blue ticks  purporting to be people who I absolutely know that they are not, so that's not going amazingly,  and to me the entire point of verification was that safety mechanism, so that's a problem.  I will say it matters verification is verifying that you are who you say you are uh  I'm still not a fan for other reasons that we will now come to my second problem is that it's paid  and social media networks do not have a cash problem they have an Ethics problem they don't  have a cash problem they have money they do not need more money and well Twitter aside but again  like that's that's not specifically a Twitter issue, it's a poor management issue, but anyway.  Am I gonna get just bombarded by Elon Musk's fan club on this episode? oh God!  So yeah they don't need more money and this frustrates me that they are making  it a paid thing in an effort to make more money when they don't need it. Why? Why? I don't... Meta essentially you are paying for customer service which to me is  real shit because the people who are paying for customer service are the people who are creating  the content that brings people to the platform itself. If those people stopped creating on the  platform it would die pretty quickly, like the people who are being expected to pay are the  people who are making the platform exist. If your favourite influencers left Instagram and Facebook, if they all just left, who would be on on those platforms? People's use of those platforms would drop dramatically,  they could not serve as many ads, they would lose masses in stock price,  they would be screwed, and yet here we are with with them going like "yeah,  we want you to work for us because you are bringing in people to our platform  you are making our platform what it is and we want you to pay for us to provide a very basic customer  service that like if your account gets hacked we will sort it for you." That should be standard,  that should be free, that is not something you should pay for, that's just basic security  protection, that should be provided for every single account. Why? Okay we know why they're  asking you to pay for it, because capitalism, because greed, but like really? Really? Anyway, the third reason is I just will not fund financially unethical business practices, I just won't do it.  That's my personal choice, you can do what you like but for me I will not do it,  and that is largely why I am also unfollowing accounts which are getting paid verification.  Not on Twitter because I just don't use Twitter anymore but certainly on Instagram and Facebook,  I am unfollowing accounts that I'm seeing getting verified through the paid system.  They are confusingly also still running their free verification alongside it at the moment so some  accounts are verified through that even if they're newly verified and some accounts are paid verified  and also legacy verified accounts are still verified at the moment who didn't pay for it and  aren't paying for it, I don't know whether that's changing going forward, so that's confusing.  But yeah, that's that's my stance, I am not going to get a verified account, I refuse to pay for it,  I will leave those platforms quite happily, I will merrily skip over to the Fediverse.  So yeah that's that's where I'm at with it, that's my thinking on paid verification.  I would be really super interested to know where you are at  and what you're thinking about paid verification. I've heard various different reasons for people  getting verified, some of them I understand and disagree with, some of them I don't understand,  but I would be super interested to know what your attitude to it is. If you're on YouTube  leave a comment in the comments box because that's where they're supposed to go, if you're listening  to the audio version of the podcast somewhere you can find me on Instagram Alexis Bushnell,  you can find me on LinkedIn Alexis Bushnell, you can find me on the Fediverse Alexis Bushnell.  Like basically I'm Alexis Bushnell on the internet because that is my name.  I'm sorry, yeah I gotta figure out how I usually wrap these up.  Yeah so come give me your thoughts, also you can buy me a coffee if you like this episode and you  would like to support me to make more episodes like this where I try not to be ranty and,  did I succeed? I feel it was a bit, could have been a lot worse. So that link is in the doobly  doobly bits, yeah tell me what you think, are you getting verified? What are you doing with accounts  that you follow who are getting verified? Are you being as hard boundaries as I am?  And I will see you in a future episode. I really gotta figure out how I used to end  these because there was there was like a thing, I have no idea what it was. Yeah, bye. Hawke:  If you want more regular reminders to find your own way to use social media follow Alexis on your  social platform of choice, all the links will be in the show notes. Until next time be a human.