Facebook is set to follow in Twitter’s path down the “paid verification for a vanity Blue Tick” route. It’s not a great idea for either service – or a whole host of other items. Here’s the definitive list.
OK, I say “definitive” because I’m fairly sure that nobody else is thinking this way.
Still, with Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – announcing that, like Twitter, it’s going to add a “Blue Tick” verification system for money – I’ve been thinking a little about the whole Blue Tick business.
It strikes me that very few things need a Blue Tick. Indeed, I can think of precisely one situation where it’d be actually useful.
Here’s where it wouldn’t.
The Definitive List of Things That Don’t Need A Blue Tick*
- That copy of WinZip you never moved beyond the trial stage: Go on, admit it, you didn’t. But a Blue Tick would have made no difference there.
- A Domestic Pet: You never want ticks of any colour on your pet cat or dog.
- MySpace: ‘Nuff said.
- Obscure 90s sitcom Herman’s Head: You probably haven’t thought about Herman’s Head for decades, if at all.
Neither have I, but I’m quietly confident that while there was a lot going on in Herman’s brain cavity, blue ticks were not amongst them.
- A Hippo: Would a Hippo be improved with a Blue Tick? No, it would not. Majestic creatures do not need blue ticks.
- That late-night kebab you had after leaving the pub: They’re always rubbish, but you only realise that the day after when the food poisoning hits. That’s when it would hit you that the blue tick won’t help you now.
- Wilma Flintstone: I’m not going to argue with Lister or The Cat on this one; Wilma Flintstone is the most desirable woman who ever lived. No blue tick required.
- That wall poster of (insert band, movie or image here) that you put up as a teenager: Sure, Hendrix is cool. But his poster needs Blu Tack, not Blue Tick.
- Stoffel the Honey Badger: If you know why, you know why.
- Twitter and Facebook and Instagram: OK, I lied. They’re all on the list, because really, if they ever had a use in verifying the authenticity of anyone, that argument flew right out the door the second they became paid commodities. Sure, some good and useful people can have money and can afford to pay (in some cases), but so can bad and useless types. Equally, some very good people may not be able to pay, even though they can contribute in significant ways to the online discussion. Online verification of identity may have its uses (as does an expectation of online privacy and security for many) but this is more nuanced than “got $10 a month”? Way more nuanced, in fact.
The One Situation Where A Blue Tick Would Come In Handy
If you do find yourself needing, well, this guy:
* The definitive list until somebody writes a longer or better list. Add suggestions below.