How a Lawsuit from an Unusual Celebrity Leads to Twitter Implementing the Blue Checkmark


It’s not surprising to hear that Kanye West, in 2009, criticized Twitter for allowing celebrities to impersonate him on Twitter. However, West wasn’t the celebrity who ultimately sued the company and caused the social media platform to begin using the blue check mark verification system. Twitter sued instead a former MLB manager.

Tony La Russa was a former St. Louis Cardinals manager and the first to sue Twitter for imposter accounts. At the time, a Twitter parody account existed that used La Russa’s name. It made fun of driving drunk and St. Louis Cardinals who had already died. La Russa claimed the tweets were offensive in the lawsuit. “derogatory and demeaning”And that the feed had damaged his trademark rights.

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“There is a law against improperly using a person’s name without authorization, and it wasn’t authorized,” La Russa said. “You can’t sue everybody for criticizing you. But it seemed like that was the perception, that I or we were upset with the criticism. No, it was improper use of the name.”

La Russa was able to reach a deal with Twitter. The parody account with only four followers was removed. Twitter ended up paying the former manager’s legal fees and making a donation to his animal rescue nonprofit. Although La Russa was heavily criticized for his actions against the social media giants, it did lead to the blue checkmark verification system we now all recognize.

Do You Have to Pay To Be Verified on Twitter?

It’s difficult to remember a world when the verification system on Twitter didn’t exist. So why are we talking about a blue check mark that’s been around for more than 13 years? Because Elon Musk believes that people should pay to have a check mark in their name.

That’s right. The blue checkmark can be added to your name for $8 each month. It’s part of Twitter Blue, a monthly subscription that “offers exclusive access to premium features that let you customize your Twitter experience,” according to Twitter’s website.

It appears to be just one of many changes Musk is making now that he’s Chief Executive of Twitter. Musk, a billionaire, bought the social media platform for $44billion and has been in charge of the company only a few days. Since that time, he’s already received pushback from multiple advertisers and celebrities, including Stephen King.

Twitter will become a site that doesn’t require proof, but only a small fee, to prove you are who you claim to be. We will only know in time if the public will pay $8 per month to get a blue checkmark.

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