After months of hedging, Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk finally stripped certain users of their blue verification checks last week.
Before he purchased the social media platform, the blue check system served to verify that accounts claiming to belong to notable individuals and organizations were actually being run by those individuals and organizations. Now, Musk is charging $8 a month for check marks through Twitter Blue.
After the initial rollout of Twitter Blue led to rampant impersonation of notable users, Twitter delayed the removal of legacy verification and developed a new color-coded verification system for brands or government-associated organizations.
A few local legacy verified accounts kept their check marks, but not the city’s Department of Transportation, which added a green emerald emoji to its display name. “We heard the new owner of Twitter likes emeralds,” the account quipped.
Here’s who else kept or shed their checks last week. Please let us know if you can make sense of this system.
Who kept their check mark thanks to their status as “a government or multilateral organization account”?
- Gov. Wes Moore’s official account (but not his personal account)
- Baltimore City Hall
- Baltimore Office of Emergency Management
- City police and fire departments
- Anne Arundel County Police Department
- Howard County Police Department
Who was stripped of their verification and chose not to pay for it?
- Mayor Brandon Scott did not make Twitter’s cut, nor did Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, or D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. New York City Mayor Eric Adams chose to pay for the service.
- Nick Mosby
- Lt. Gov. Miller
- Comptroller Bill Henry
- Baltimore Department of Public Works
- Baltimore County Government
- Baltimore County Police Department
- Anne Arundel County Government
- Howard County Government
Whose verified profiles say they are subscribed to Twitter Blue?
Moore touts diverse cabinet
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore has filled out his cabinet, and he says it’s the most diverse in the state’s history.
The group of about two dozen cabinet secretaries is half female and half people of color, the Democratic governor said ahead of swearing in Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation Paul Monteiro and Adjutant General Janeen L. Birckhead on Thursday.
“When we said that we wanted to build a cabinet and build a team that looks like the state of Maryland, we meant that,” Moore said. “We said it, we meant it.”
He continued: “When we said that we wanted to make sure that every single person in this state, no matter where you call home, no matter what your background is, no matter what your family lineage is, no matter what part of the state you represent, that we wanted you to be able to look up at this administration and say, ‘I see myself’ — we meant it.”
Maryland is the most diverse state on the East Coast, according to the 2020 Census, with fewer than half of state residents identifying as White.
Comings and goings
- Army Brigadier General Adam R. Flasch is Gov. Wes Moore’s pick to lead the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security. Flasch most recently served as joint staff director of the Maryland National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters. He has three decades of experience in the Army, including deployments to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Lisa Belcastro, a special educator and former state delegate representing Baltimore County, is joining the Maryland Department of Disabilities as the deputy secretary.
- Nancy Kopp, the former state treasurer who retired in 2021, has joined the board of visitors for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. The multicampus institution offers graduate-level coursework and research on environmental issues.
- Allison Colden is the new Maryland executive director for the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation, replacing Josh Kurtz, who joined the Moore administration as natural resources secretary. For the past two years, Colden led CBF’s oyster restoration program in Maryland. She’s also advocated for legislation to protect oysters and served on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Maryland Oyster Advisory Commission.