UPDATE, 11/11/22, 9:41 AM ET: Twitter has performed necromancy on our "official badge," resurrecting it from the Pet Sematary of grey checkmarks. We are monitoring the situation closely and making sure that our account does not exhibit frightening, Zombie-like tendencies as we navigate this new development.
For a few hours this morning, TechCrunch was recognized by Elon Musk's newest plaything, Twitter, as a news organization with enough merit to warrant a highly coveted "official" designation. We regret to inform our readership that this elite classification has since been rescinded... along with the designation on all other accounts that earned this momentous honor.
This morning, Twitter began rolling out a gray "official" badge. Since the blue checkmark can soon be purchased for $8 per month, this designation was intended to denote important accounts to protect them against impersonation (essentially, the same purpose that the blue check used to serve). But after a blissful few hours of acknowledgment from our new bird app overlords, our official check has moved on to a better place.
When tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee posted about his own grey official badge, Chief Twit Elon Musk replied, "I just killed it." The Tesla and SpaceX CEO followed up, "Blue check will be the great leveler."
Musk then took to his own account to explain: "Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn't."
Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months.
We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 9, 2022
Esther Crawford, the product manager who announced the rollout of official badges last night, said that this reversal may be temporary: "The official label is still going out as part of the @TwitterBlue launch -- we are just focusing on government and commercial entities to begin with. What you saw [Musk] mention was the fact that we're not focusing on giving individuals the 'Official' label right now."
For now, those of us at TechCrunch HQ remain hopeful for our future as a Super Extra Verified account.
“We at TechCrunch were thrilled to be recognized as official by Twitter. We will always look back on our time as official with fond recollection and a sense of immense pride," said Managing Editor Darrell Etherington in a statement.
TechCrunch has had a blue check on Twitter for at least 10 years, an in-depth investigation into the Wayback Machine revealed. Though its tenure as an "official" account was short-lived, sources inside of TechCrunch say these meaningful memories will not be forgotten.
"Despite no longer being official, we will continue, as a brand, to act in such a manner as we hope reflects the high honor of the mantle now that we’re once again reduced to just a single checkmark," Etherington added. "Special thanks to our community for sticking with us through this trying time."