Ticked off by the blue tick

Now this has become a thing — the blue tick next to your name on Twitter. Why

Why him? Why not me? And in recent days, that has escalated to the levels of conspiracy — the blue tick has now been elevated to the equivalent of a secret handshake that marks out the members of an elite left-leaning club. So now we have intense agonising about the blue tick, we talk of how withholding it is a conspiracy against right-thinking (oh no, I didn’t mean to pun) elements. We’ve even begun to dig for “evidence”, now.

Saw this on my timeline:

The noise around this whole “blue tick” thing, the “woe is me they are not giving me this little toy” thing has begun to make me wonder. And from that arises a thought, and a serious question for you guys:

From all that I can see of Twitter’s ‘verified account’ policy, I qualify. At least, I don’t know that I am “highly sought” by users, but I am a journalist, for what it is worth. Plus — and this is particularly relevant in a country like ours where who you know often trumps who you are — I know the top honchos at Twitter India; one of them, Raheel Khurshid, is a friend from back when he was a journalist. Strikes me that Twitter has never offered me that tick, nor has it occurred to me to ask for this “validation”, nor has it been offered.

Hence my question: Do you guys think I am any less credible for not having the tick? Are you less likely to take people like me seriously because some social media site — which came into existence decades after I did — hasn’t certified  that I am who I say I am? Will you take my pronouncements as gospel if I pull strings and call in favors and get “ticked”?

Seriously, WTF is with the blue tick anyway?



5 thoughts on “Ticked off by the blue tick

  1. Also, what’s the point of the blue tick when top cops like Bassi ji will tag and quarrel with a parody account (like he did with Ravish’s parody account) 😛

  2. I can understand actors, sportspersons with many popular fake profiles being bothered about the blue ticks (or even some mediapersons with fake profiles). But blue ticks as some sort of validation, then going to decry the organization and its people? The assigning is random, sure, though popularity definitely ain’t no measure for giving them out (little research could have told them that).

    • Yeah. Exactly. And the very randomness of it actually devalues the tick, which is why I don’t understand the angst. Raheel once in so many words asked me to send in a mail from my official ID stating I am a journalist, and I told him not to bother, wasn’t fussed. Okay, that is me — but this whole climbing on the cross of victimhood because no tick is a bit nauseating. Or — worse crime in my book — bloody boring, juvenile.

  3. Sometimes an accolade is required to bring attention to a certain body of work. On other occasions, an award requires visibility by getting associated with an honourable individual. And then there are cases when an agency and the individual can co-exist and thrive without each other.

    I always wonder do we need to award Bharat Ratna posthumously to stalwarts? How many of them and how far back should we go? Are the contributions any less if the medal fails to associate with these individuals? An Academy award that fails to identify a top talent in the right year (and on occasion just making it up in a sympathy vote – thinking about Scrent of a Woman) is just an opportunity missed not a conspiracy because a group of people may not spot the biggest brightest X. It happens in all the areas.

    A blue tick, a Padma, a National award – a lot of people need lobbying and a lot more to get on the list and a few carry on their line of work irrespective. Sometimes can the cliche is true that doing your job well is a reward in itself.

    • Oh I totally agree about awards (and the tendency to hatch conspiracy theories around them, rightly or wrongly). I try not to get into that stuff — who knows for sure, for instance, whether Anupam Kher got his for his vociferous support of the BJP or as recognition of a stellar acting career?

      But this blue tick thing, what I find risible about the breast-beating is that it is not even an accolade, a recognition based on quantified, and stringently followed, criteria. And yet the amount of agonising, oh my god…

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