About a day after Twitter debut its gray “official” labels to high-level accounts, CEO Elon Musk had it removed.

“I just killed it,” he tweeted on Wednesday morning.

The badge rolled out on Tuesday as an additional marker to prove an account’s authenticity.

However, that has since changed.

Musk further explained that all the changes to the platform as basically trial and error.

“Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in the coming months,” he said. “We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”

Now if users hover over the blue check mark, a disclaimer pops up reading, “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.”

Per the new guidelines, the blue check mark means two different things now.

“Either that an account was verified under the previous verification criteria (active, notable, and authentic), or that the account has an active subscription to Twitter’s new Twitter Blue subscription service, which was made available on iOS in the US, Canada, Australia New Zealand, and the U.K. on Nov. 9.”

The guidelines state that accounts that get a blue checkmark as part of the subscription will not undergo review to confirm that they meet the active, notable, and authentic criteria that were used in the previous process.

“Please note, to minimize impersonation risks, display name changes will be temporarily restricted on Verified accounts,” the disclaimer reads. “This will impact accounts Verified under the legacy program and Twitter’s new Twitter Blue subscription product.”

On Tuesday evening, Twitter VP Esther Crawford, who is leading the revamped Twitter Blue explained the brief addition.

“A lot of folks have asked about how you’ll be able to distinguish between @TwitterBlue subscribers with blue checkmarks and accounts that are verified as official, which is why we’re introducing the ‘Official’ label to select accounts when we launch,” she tweeted.

She further explained how accounts qualify for the “official” marker and how it differs from that blue checkmark.


“Not all previously verified accounts will get the ‘Official’ label and the label is not available for purchase,” said Crawford, who recently was the subject of a viral photo showing her sleeping on the floor of a Twitter office while working to meet Musk’s deadlines.

Following the change, for a brief moment, official accounts like the CIA, KTLA, the New York Times, Coca-Cola, Apple, and former President Barack Obama received the “official” checkmark.

Twitter: KTLA

The new marker came days after Musk announced he’d start charging for accounts to be verified. Before Musk’s ownership of the company, the highly-coveted blue checkmark on Twitter accounts was a signifier of authenticity.

Those checkmarks will be available at a yet-to-be-announced date for anyone willing to pay a $7.99-a-month subscription, which will also include some bonus features, such as fewer ads and the ability to have tweets given greater visibility than those coming from non-subscribers.

Meanwhile, experts have expressed concern that making the checkmark available to anyone for a fee could lead to impersonations and the spreading of misinformation and scams. The gray label — a color that tends to blend into the background whether you use light or dark mode to scroll Twitter — was an apparent compromise.

There are about 423,000 verified accounts under the outgoing system. Many of those belong to celebrities, businesses, and politicians, as well as media outlets.

But a large chunk of verified accounts belongs to individual journalists, some with tiny followings at local newspapers and news sites worldwide. The idea was to verify reporters so their identities couldn’t be used to push false information on Twitter.

Musk had previously floated designating official accounts in a way other than the blue check.