Twitter verifies users associated with Block the Blue, including dril and Mashable’s Matt Binder

The latest speed bump in the rollout of Twitter’s revamped verification policy under new owner Elon Musk is here: Defiant Tick. Twitter randomly awards unwanted blue verification badges to the most prominent critics of those very badges.

One of the recipients is the undisputed king of Weird Twitter, @dril (the hugely popular account of a Los Angeles writer named Paul Dochney(opens in a new tab)).

Another recipient of an unwanted badge is Mashable’s own Matt Binder.

Left-wing Twitch streamer Hasan Piker is another recipient of an obvious tick.

It’s a puzzling twist in an absolutely grueling story. Verification badges, or “blue ticks,” started out rather dryly as symbols of Twitter’s ID verification process, but have evolved into status symbols over time. This divide between the haves and have-nots has become a pet problem for a certain subset of users—often critics(opens in a new tab) of the perceived groupthink of Silicon Valley and mainstream media — and when Elon Musk bought Twitter, one of his stated goals was to bridge that divide by awarding the badges to those who subscribe to Twitter Blue, the paid version of Twitter that not long before Musk bought the company.

In practice, however, this transition was a mess. Musk himself touted the policy with tweets that angered his critics and made him feel like they were entitled to their money. “Break me up all day, but it’s $8.” he wrote(opens in a new tab) in November last year. In the months after Twitter put this idea into practice, it turned out that Twitter Blue subscribers were mostly accounts with relatively few followers and definitely not the kind of celebrity users who need an ID verification process to avoid that they will be impersonated and to have their followers potentially bullied.


Dril and other Twitter power users launch campaign to “block the blue” paid ticks

But when Twitter took the extra step earlier this week of revoking celebrity Twitter users’ badges, a much sharper contrast emerged between Twitter Blue subscribers, with their blue badges, and celebrity, formerly verified users – credited as the originators of much of the high- quality content that makes Twitter worthwhile – without.

Making matters worse for many longtime users was the fact that Twitter Blue membership is now associated with Elon Musk fandom. And as Twitter Blue subscribers gain notoriety on the site, blue ticks felt like a swarm of pests detracting from their enjoyment of the platform.

In response, the creator of a defunct app called The Block List created an account called @BlockTheBlue and launched a campaign aimed at marginalizing Twitter Blue subscribers by blocking them en masse, ostensibly to quiet the noise and Bringing Twitter back to its former idyll. The campaign may have remained marginal itself, but quickly garnered @dril as a celebrity endorser, giving the Block the Blue campaign instant access to its 1.7 million followers.

Shortly after a Mashable article about the campaign was published on Friday, the @BlockTheBlue account was suspended. Then on Saturday afternoon @dril tweeted a picture of a toilet with a tick in it and used the hashtag #BlockTheBlueChecks(opens in a new tab).

In the midst of the drama surrounding this tweet, @dril suddenly had a blue tick next to his name. He responded by repeatedly changing his display name and, of course, fooling around.

Mashable’s Matt Binder tweeted that he “will no doubt use any method that works to get rid of his tick.”

Elon Musk has given other seemingly involuntary blue ticks, including those to Lebron James, Stephen King and William Shatner(opens in a new tab). However, this latest move is a slight change in that strategy. James, King and Shatner had expressed their disapproval of the new policy, and Musk commented on their unexpected badges as if they were gifts(opens in a new tab).

In contrast, this latest crop of naughty ticks is a clear attempt to anger people who openly criticize Musk and people who pay for Twitter. For his part, @dril referred to them as “blue boys” and called them “dead-eyed morons who usually try to sell you something stupid and expensive,” but now he is one. By his own logic, his followers should block him.

binder called the move(opens in a new tab) Musk’s “first funny thing”.

Update: As of April 22nd at 5:32pm this story was still in development. Users seem to have hinted to @dril that this move was recognized by Twitter as “wrong confirmation(opens in a new tab)“, which would be against the law. @drill seems to keep changing his name to remove the tick, but it still gets added to his profile anyway.

Also, Kara Swisher, another prominent Musk critic, but who doesn’t seem to be associated with the Block the Blue campaign was also the recipient(opens in a new tab) from one of them undesirable(opens in a new tab) Tick ​​late Saturday.

Zack Zwiezen

Zack Zwiezen is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Zack Zwiezen joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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