Are you an authentic public figure? Do people know this? If you're unsure and the holy Twitter checkmark isn't cutting it, then you may need an actual badge to slap on your property.
That’s right: shrouded in secrecy, and the usual preserve of celebrities, public figures, and other influencer types, Twitter’s elusive seal of importance has now crossed the digital membrane into the physical world.
As with many things, if you can imagine it, then it's probably been done or is in the pipeline. Twitter's much-coveted blue checkmark has never been physically rendered for the outside world. But in something reminiscent of Victorian times, where insignias emblazoned on the front houses denoted status, this new concept could be a contemporary reimagining of 19th-century domestic life. And if you haven't already slammed your laptop lid shut in revulsion, then do read on.
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It all stems from Danielle Baskin (opens in new tab), who tweeted to ask what the innocuous plastic shields that grace certain San Francisco homes meant. Twitter chat snowballed into a plan of action: the result is a kind-of joke-cum-real crest that you can actually own.
There’s now even a website - Blue Check Homes (opens in new tab) – where you can begin an application for the big blue checkmark to be placed on the front of your house. Baskin clarifies the badge is part of a wider satire on consumerism and fame – nevertheless, in what is another satirical twist, it's available for anyone that is willing to part with their cash, perhaps representing the exact thing Baskin is mocking.
Of course, Twitter’s frenzied feed means the joke has been thoroughly lost. Unsuspecting users have complained of the crest's unapologetic extravagance; its sweeping generalization of the San Fran influencer scene; even one user, who’s annoyed that it takes a swipe at people who get it’s a joke.
You can now get a Verified Badge crest on your Bay Area home if you're an influencer, public figure, or represent a brand. https://t.co/SyoURdSGe7 pic.twitter.com/H1Sz3gwBdLJanuary 30, 2021
There are many levels to this satire, asking just how far people will go to show public status, and testing Twitter’s collective satire meter. Baskin hastens to add (opens in new tab), deeper in the thread, that if you’re considering actually getting a crest – ironically – then the money is better off donated to charity.
In the digital world, things are clearer cut. Twitter holds (opens in new tab) that “the blue verified badge lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic.” The tech giant is pretty ambiguous in how you might get this, but it says that the account must be notable and active.
It would be interesting to see how one would gain such a seal: what conditions, be them digitally anchored, would then translate to you getting one, and placing it above your porch roof. There's no word yet on any 'ironic' orders, but we wouldn't be surprised if this took off beyond the Twittersphere, spawning several copycats with a more serious business model not rooted in satire.
All of this is confined to the physical world amid changes occurring in the digital world. T3 recently reported on the launch of Twitter initiative Birdwatch, which will allow users to identify disingenuous tweets, annotating them. A noble idea, but a strategy that T3 thinks is a passive response to a major issue that plagues the platform.