Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge: A Modest Proposal from the Unwashed and Unverified

Twitter LogoAs a regular MSNBC pundit is calling for Elon Musk to be stripped of his citizenship for trying to reintroduce free speech protections to Twitter, the new owner is outraging blue checkers by suggesting a monthly charge for verified users. Figures like CNBC’s Jim Cramer declared: “I’m not paying them anything. They should pay me.” Some of us would be willing to pay an added monthly fee to support a true free speech alternative on social media if Musk keeps his word.

Of course, for full disclosure, I would first have to get a blue check to get charged for a blue check. I have been barred from being verified for years by Twitter despite being a columnist for newspapers like USA Today and the Hill as well as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and now Fox over the last two decades. I have been ranked in the top five law professors on Twitter, but I was still turned down over a dozen times under multiple categories.

I have previously joked about the bar on verification and I am not sure how much the blue check honestly does for individuals. Indeed, there are some advantages. I can presumably deny prior statements since they were made by an entirely unverified person using my name for over a decade. Yet, as a long-time critic of Twitter’s censorship system, there has been a long curiosity over the denial.

Musk has indicated that he is now looking into such concerns and there may be greater transparency in the weeks to come.

However, Musk is looking for ways to reduce the dependency on advertisers and many of us would support that effort.  Recently, General Motors suspended advertising on Twitter until it can evaluate the implications of Musk’s new policies. Some of us immediately criticized the action by GM over the move.

The company had no problem with supporting Twitter when it was running one of the largest censorship systems in history — or supporting TikTok (which is Chinese owned and has been denounced for state control and access to data). Twitter has been denounced for years for its bias against conservative and dissenting voices, including presumably many GM customers on the right. None of that was a concern for GM but the pledge to restore free speech to Twitter warrants a suspension.

Musk’s pledge to restore free speech protections will not be realized if these pundits and politicians can use corporations to drain the company, a repeated and successful means used in the past. Making the company more dependent on actual customers rather than these companies can reduce such pressure to resume censorship policies.

Many customers never wanted the censorship being sold by companies like Facebook and Twitter, but they lacked any alternative. Twitter can now be that alternative. We can show that there is a market for free speech but supporting Twitter in trying to reduce the dependence on corporate sponsors.

191 thoughts on “Blue Checkers Revolt Over Musk’s Threatened Monthly Charge: A Modest Proposal from the Unwashed and Unverified”

  1. Jim Cramer? Steven King? I wouldn’t call it a “revolt” although empty posturing by the loons is revolting. If you don’t want to pay for your precious blue check mark, then you can just give it up and continue to post like the rest of us plebs. Or better yet, just disappear.

    1. Cramer can post without a blue check. He has a following and I’m sure his position is he brings users. He won’t give up Twitter because it is now essential for his TV and Subscription Club business.
      A lot of hot air about nothing.

  2. JT says…”Some of us would be willing to pay an added monthly fee to support a true free speech alternative on social media if Musk keeps his word.”

    Yep, I’m some of you will. And what will you get for that privilege? Probably lots of N words thrown around. Bullying. Name calling. You can read tweets from “reputable” sources like Musk talk about right wing BS such as Paul Pelosi knew his attacker. You can read how the 2020 election was stolen by? Well, we are still waiting on that evidence, but hey, it was stolen, believe me. All democrats are pedophiles. Democratic leaders drink the blood of newborns to stay youthful. Wow, that is some heavy conversations I want to be part of. NOT.

    I stand by my initial opinion. Musk paid $44 B for a company worth $30 B, in 6 months it will be with $10 B, in one year ZERO.

    1. BabyTrump, twitter has issued a statement concerning the use of the N-word on its platform. Here it is. Responding to the increase in N-word occurrences, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, on Saturday evening posted a thread blaming the hateful conduct on a “trolling campaign.” According to Roth, over the previous 48 hours, Twitter had seen “a small number of accounts post a ton of tweets that include slurs and other derogatory terms.” He said more than 50,000 tweets repeatedly using “a particular slur” — an evident reference to the N-word — had come from just 300 accounts, nearly all of which are “inauthentic.” This means 300 accounts out of 396.5 million. Every day we see you make mountains out of mole hills. It took me all of five minutes to find how much and by whom the N-word was being used on Twitter. We can now add this to the multitude of hoaxes foisted on the nation by you and the other Democratic operatives on this blog. When you post we always know that there will be a rest of the story soon to be revealed.

      1. Oh man I forget. There was a riot at the Capitol in 2016 where thousands of Demos ransacked the Capitol Building. Hillary is a dweeb. The fact that you even bring this up is…well childish. I could care less what she says. In fact, I think Hillary and Bill should take a 10 year vacation to Antarctica without phones or internet access. The world would be a better place for it. I’m pretty sure Obama attended the inauguration of Trump and there was not rioting at the Capitol like there was in Jan 2021.I could be wrong, my memory seems to be fading these days.

        Sheesh, 60 court cases in 2020-21, Every time the judge said where’s the evidence, Trumps lawyers said, we’re still looking. Judge says, get back to me when you have evidence. They never came back.

        How about that phone call Trump made to Georgia officials where he “asked” them to find 11,000 votes? Ya, sounds legal to me.

        Can Somebody, anybody, please show the actual evidence that the 2020 election was stolen? Arizona republicans did a recount, found more votes for Biden. What am I missing?

    2. Leftie with no money tells the richest man in the world how to run a business. More empty posturing from the wacky left.

  3. It’s like Disney, which had no problem filming Mulan in China, where the government is actively engaging in genocide against the Uighur. Yet, the company objected vehemently to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law.

    They don’t care about genocide, but they strongly opposed parents having a say in their child’s education. Nice people.

  4. I was on Twitter a couple of times. I liked the platform, but grew weary of being warned, put on limited suspensions, being reported, etc.
    But on the subject of advertisements, to be honest I really don’t recall being inundated with ads or noticing ads. Not too sure what businesses are paying for with Twitter ads. I see Instagram ads all the time and have even purchased from a few companies. But Twitter? Never noticed.
    As an unverified heathen I would return and even pay a small monthly fee as long as the Terms of Service were equally applied,

    1. Ditto. I joined last week to see what the blah blah was all about and have yet to see an ad. What’s with that? (I am interested primarily in Medicare. I do see an occassional insurance company posting something about Medicare. Maybe it’s paying to post that????)

  5. “I have been ranked in the top five law professors on Twitter,…”

    – Professor Turley
    ______________

    Wait! STOP the presses!

    Professor Turley has been ranked “IN” the top five?

    Professor Turley “IS” the top five all wrapped up in one, nice and tidy, neat little package.

  6. Election 2022. It go time. You’d better be voting and following up with your friends to make sure they voted. It’s no joke this time. You don’t make it happen and the US will be controlled by communists and drug cartels.

  7. Thank you Jonathan Turley. I’ve never used Twitter before because of the blatant censorship I read about, but now that Elon is attempting to right the ship I’ll join, and I don’t mind paying.

  8. We have to give GM a break. They mistakenly thought they were making their announcement about pulling advertisements from twitter at one of their manufacturing plants in China. Certainly this is an excusable error.

  9. The entitlement of the most privileged on the left is beyond reckoning anymore. If these were Robespierre days, I would have these leftist pundits’ heads sitting in front of my house. enough already, we are not this stupid. Followed by a great, ‘Yaawn.’. There is nothing convincing about America’s left anymore, except that we need to avoid what they stand for and represent at all costs. Voted for freedom, sorry/not sorry and that did not include the DNC. i no longer vote for Democrats. Likely never will again. And again, I am a lifelong Independent voter. Didn’t vote for W, did vote for Obama the first time, and have regretted it ever since.

    1. “we need to avoid what they stand for and represent at all costs”

      We need to confront them and remove them from any position of authority at all costs.

      1. Ivan,
        At some point in time, I fear someone is going to do something stupid, involving someone else’s child, and it will escalate to violence.
        One half of the country will shrike in horror.
        And the other half well perfectly fine with it.

    2. BEER [GUILLOTINE] POLKA

      “Roll out the [guillotine],”

      “We’ll have a [guillotine] of fun!”

      – The Andrews Sisters
      __________________

      “When clearing Robespierre’s neck, executioner Charles-Henri Sanson tore off the bandage that was holding his shattered jaw in place, causing him to produce an agonising scream until the fall of the blade silenced him.”

      – Wiki

  10. Well there goes that. I have been considering a new electric Cadillac (much to my wife’s chagrin). Tesla here I come.

    1. I am not in the market for an electric car – they just will not work for me.
      But why would anyone buy an electric car other than a Tesla ?

  11. Every Conservative should look to the wide variety of other vehicles and avoid General Motors.
    You would have thought their huge loss of market share after their 1970’s conduct would have taught them to stay out of politics.
    I haven’t purchased a GM vehicle since then and it looks like I was right.

    1. It is stupid for companies that make mass market products to take ideological stands.
      They ALWAYS lose more than they gain.

      You can do that from a niche. Not where your market is everyone.

  12. I might be willing to pay just to get rid of the bots. My primary use of social media is as a person who helps people with Medicare issues. I am trained and (was formerly annually) certified by CMS to provide that help. I have successfully used Facebook to do it for years but I tried to use Twitter five years ago for a short time and then stopped because of the number of bots that generate thousands of Medicare lies and then retweet them and make up new ones. It became too hard to keep up.

    I did keep a list of the leading Lefty Lies about Medicare on Twitter and elsewhere (the Republicans’ only “lie” is to keep calling Medicare an “entitlement,” which is legally true but sends exactly the wrong message). I add to the list as often as I can. The top 5 are
    1. “Medicare is single payer (and we should give it to All).” In fact, Medicare by design and legally is two payer (the beneficiary — who pays both a premium and a lot out of pocket — and the Trust Funds). In practice and reality, Medicare involves as many as five or more payers
    — the beneficiary
    — the private insurer that runs Parts A and B in your state
    — the private insurer that runs Part B DME in your state
    — the private insurer you have to get supplemental protection from because A and B are so bad–unless you choose Part C
    — the private insurer almost everyone gets one way or the other to cover some of the costs of self administered prescription drugs, and
    — the private insurer, if you want one, that covers all the things that A and B don’t cover at all such as teeth and vision and hearing
    2. “George Bush II ‘privatized’ Medicare” — In fact, so called private Medicare Part C (it’s as public and A and B but that lie does not make the top 5 list) was ‘invented’ by two Ted Kennedy staffers in 1995 and signed into law by Clinton in 1997
    3. “George Bush II kept Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers.” In fact, that policy was in Clinton’s original proposal for Medicare Part D with the blessings of his VP Al Gore over a year before George Bush II even became president (after which he took Clinton’s proposal and got it passed in 2003 to go into effect in 2006). Clinton put it in there because it was right around the same time the swamp dwellers in civil service were so effectively negotiating $1200 toilet seats and $600 screw drivers
    4. “Obama gave Medicare beneficiaries free flu shots for the first time in 2011.” In fact, George Bush I did it 20 years before that… in 1991
    5. And the new one this year: “Biden gave Medicare $35 a month Insulin coverage” In fact, Trump started $35 a month insulin coverage three years ago

    If we could get all the bots streaming out lies like these by the thousands, paying for it would be worthwhile

  13. A monthly payment from blue check recipients to Twitter shareholders doesn’t seem unreasonable. If it is, the marketplace will let that be known.

    1. It’s not a payment to Twitter shareholders. The payment is to the company itself so that they can pay the bills, invest in products and services, and get rid of all the damn bots.

  14. More bad news for the left:

    “Chief Justice Roberts temporarily delays handover of Trump tax documents to House committee

    Roberts’ order allows the Supreme Court to have time to debate legal issues in the former president’s emergency Supreme Court appeal.”

    I don’t think it makes that much of a difference for Trump if the tax documents are released, except for his proprietary interests in keeping things secret from his competitors. It is, however, a negative for the left as the public can see the left raising prices and taxes while trying to wiggle their eyes into the lives of all American citizens. The voyeurs from the left are facing exposure as Peeping Toms.

      1. There is no requirement to provide tax returns to the public.

        If you want a candidates – demand it.
        If they refuse – you will have to decide if that effects your vote.

        I am sure Trump’s tax return hides lots of things he does not want left wing nuts to see.
        At the same time it does not hide anything criminal or he would have successfully be prosecuted.

      2. “I have seen Biden’s tax returns.”

        Gee Mail: Trump is a businessman, unlike the others you mention. His proprietary secrets provide him an advantage over his competitors. I don’t fault you for your lack of business experience but recognize he, like all businessmen, has a right to their work product.

        The IRS is not supposed to snoop and provide confidential information to everyone else. Maybe you don’t realize that either. In any event, we have seen Democrats use the IRS for their political advantage. Lois Lerner comes to mind. It is not your fault that those you might support are cheats that intentionally break confidentiality, but there is no reason for you to support Trump’s release of his tax returns.

        You probably don’t know much about tax returns either. They don’t show what you wish them to show. That is why the small portions of his tax returns previously released had to be embellished by the left to make their unscrupulous actions worthwhile.

        Finally, you are ignorant regarding his business affairs. Trump, like all businessmen doing similar things, has had lots of his financials looked at by NYC, NYS, NJ, and other states including the gaming commission of NJ. Those places dig more widely than the IRS, so it is obvious that what the left is looking for is information to be used for political gain. That is what a lot of the depositions of Trump supporters are all about. If you support that type of action, then you have significant fascist tendencies or more likely are an outright fascist. I don’t accuse you of that because I believe you are another ignorant leftist that does not understand our Constitution or how businesses function.

      3. There is no mandate to release one’s tax returns.
        It is all voluntary.
        Would the Clinton’s Foundation stand up to scrutiny if it were to be audited?
        But we do not hear a lot about that.

    1. It’s a temporary administrative stay. Graham also had a temporary administrative stay from SCOTUS and then they denied him cert.

      1. So what? It drives the left crazy, and they dig a deeper hole. You don’t get it. The left was out to get him the second he stood on the escalator. The left failed in two impeachments. Democrats looked foolish. Today, many understand that the FBI, IRS, and DOJ are all crooked, even though no significant jail terms were handed out.

        The public watches the Democrats spend all their time trying to get Trump’s tax returns while inflation rises, gas prices rise, and the strategic oil supply is used as a political tool to keep gas prices down until the midterms are over, People watch as the Democrats spew lies about Trump that are repeatedly wrong while the supply chain is in trouble, and we have wars where none existed before.

        I think many families remember better times under Trump, but you keep spending your energy trying to show that a crooked DOJ and Leftist Congress are trying to get information from Trump that has been looked over with a fine-toothed comb by the IRS where nothing illegal will ever be found.

        Do you know what they call your type of hope? Idiocy.

  15. I pleaded the Professor’s Case with the Chief Twit….Elon Musk himself at his Twitter page.

    I want to see more Lefty Heads explode when they see the Professor talking about Free Speech and the evil of Censorship on Twitter….a well known Leftist propaganda site that has been the victim of a hostile takeover by a Billionaire who is going to end its bias and prejudice and replace it with a Free Speech Platform where people can find a full range of views and genuine debate.

  16. Elon Musk is a breath of fresh air in a stifling environment.
    Outing the trolls next up.
    History shall record the censorship villains.

    1. Absolutely! I am retired in Brevard County, Fl, just running out the clock down here in God’s waiting room. Less than half an hour ago I watched SpaceX launch a Delta 9 Heavy, and watched the perfect synchronized landing of the two auxiliary boosters at LZ-1 and LZ-2 at KSC. In the past seven years boosters returning to KSC or the drone ships have become fairly routine events.

      Elon Musk is the genius who made that happen, just like he made EVs accessible to the masses. I’m not sure what he’ll be doing with Twitter but I’m pretty sure it will be something that none of us mere mortals could even hope to envision at this stage of the game.

  17. So far I like Musk’s moves on Twitter. I am not a user but may start if just to read the free speech. Some points I will agree with Svelaz that this is Musk’s business and he can do with it as he wishes. The quandary for Musk is, will the people support this free speech platform with a fee? Or will he need advertising. Advertising used to be a no brainer but once it became armed it became far less dependable with companies ready to drop you for a simple crossed look or because of pressure from other customers . Therefore advertising Is less dependable as a means to support his enterprise. I see no problem with the fee. It buys you a platform with your identity verified or you can take the leap and pay no fee and take your chances, your choice.
    As far as GM is concerned, I have not bought a product of theirs in 30 + years. Prefer Ford, Toyota and Subaru. Excellent vehicles and long lasting.

    1. What a fee will also do is filter out bots and mindless fanatics who blog all day while consuming cheetos in their mother’s basement but who won’t pay for the privelege of free speech. Lots of Reeeeeee squealing coming from the obnoxiously loud, inane left at this point.

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