Meta Verified: The Illusion of Fame, Privacy, and Online Security

Meta Verified" the Illusion of Fame, Privacy, and Online Security

Despite building a community of like-minded independent artists and creatives on multiple platforms, I won’t be paying for Meta Verified. Since the announcement of Meta Verified, the paid verification service for Facebook and Instagram, there has been a buzz around getting that blue checkmark, but is being verified really what it’s all cracked up to be?

What was once a status symbol of a well-known entity with a body of work or a trail of publications, the blue checkmark, now easily accessible (for a fee!), no longer offers any street credit. For artists and musicians interested in fraud protection for impersonation, paid verification services may seem like a great idea. In reality, verification could be problematic for some and unnecessary for others.

The Power of the Blue Check

How did we get here? Once upon a time, a blue checkmark or verification badge was intended to confirm the authenticity of a public figure, celebrity, or brand. The great and powerful clout touting blue check was granted to users by the social media platform based on a rigorous (and often ambiguous) process.

Social media platforms created the option to protect public figures from hacking and impersonation. With that came some natural social equity that made the blue checkmark desirable without notoriety behind it. The blue checkmark meant you were somebody (on social media). 

It Started on Twitter

On June 3, 2021, Twitter launched its open access verification process (for a fee!). Twitter Blue promised users a more customized experience, including bookmark folders, the ability to undo a tweet, reader mode, and customizable app icons. If you live and breathe Twitter, this might be worth paying for. As an app that’s had a hell of a ride in the past few years, it seems like a money grab with little purpose or real benefit from a paid user perspective, except to bring users around for that little blue check.

I don’t hang out on Twitter or consume information from the app. I have no interest in verification. When I opened my email to find out that because I did not have Twitter Blue, I would have to change the method of 2 Factor Authentication I was using, I was pissed. Not only does this move open non-Blue users up to increased hacking risk, but it’s also a terrible business model to disrupt the security settings of a significant number of users on any social media platform.

This move has left security professionals baffled, but I think the reasoning is clear. Twitter wants to charge you for things that have historically come at no cost, and disrupting your security settings might be scary enough to nudge you into doing that. 

Go change your authentication settings ASAP, if you haven’t already, particularly if you are an artist, musician, or public figure!

Then Facebook Launched Meta Verified

Like a little kid copying an older sibling, in 2023, Meta announced its paid verification service with a similar concept to Twitter Blue. Meta Verified promised a subscription bundle to help you grow your online presence with verification, proactive account protection, exclusive features (that are largely useless, just like Twitter Blue), and direct account support. 

With estimates of 12 million subscribers by the end of 2023, I have to wonder if millions of people want to be someone important, and for a small monthly fee, Meta is offering that or if there will prove to be value in the verification process as time goes on. Right now, I am not convinced. 

To Pay or Not to Pay

Overall, buying a blue checkmark is a waste of money until there is proof and a return on investment that verification can provide any significant benefit or advantage on Facebook or Instagram. As it stands, the blue checkmark is simply a symbol that confirms your identity or the identity of a brand and does not guarantee increased engagement or visibility on the platform.

Artists with limited funds should carefully consider their investment before jumping into a premium social media subscription that includes verification, and look for data to suggest actual benefits from such services.

Aside from the unproven value of the badge, what about the value users are already paying through using the apps? Meta collects and uses data on users and their online behaviors. You are paying for the service by using it and allowing Meta to serve you ads and collect information about you, who you connect with, and more. Why would you pay for it a second time with a subscription fee? 

There are also questions about safety and security for non-subscribing users where customer service, privacy, and account security have become paid services. How will that translate long term? 

What is the Future for Meta Verified?

For those with legacy accounts verified before the subscription service came into existence, will there be thinly veiled threats at legacy account removals unless the accounts pay for the new verification service? Twitter attempted this, then backtracked. Will this happen for Instagram and Facebook too?

With the high volume of early adopters signaling that it is ok to charge users for basic services like account protection and customer service, I don’t have positive predictions for the future. Considering rising hacking rates, I predict a wave of fear-based motivation for verification rather than holding these social media platforms responsible for securing their platforms and educating users on account protection for free.

With the flood of blue checkmarks all over social media platforms, the value of the blue checkmark is dead, but hey, it was cool while it lasted. Now, we get to have some comedy on the uselessness of everything we do online. Thanks, Meta. 


Binder, Matt. “Twitter Failed to Scare Legacy Verified Accounts into Paying for Twitter Blue.” Mashable, Mashable, 5 Apr. 2023,

“Introducing Twitter Blue – Twitter’s First-Ever Subscription Offering.” Twitter, Twitter,

Kirsch, Noah. “Musk’s Twitter Has a Huge Blindspot-and It Could Be Deadly.” The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 4 Dec. 2022,

“Meta Privacy Policy – How Meta Collects and Uses User Data.” Facebook,

“Meta Verified: Get a Verified Blue Check on Instagram, Facebook: Meta.” Meta Verified | Get a Verified Blue Check on Instagram, Facebook,

Newman, Lily Hay. “Twitter’s Two-Factor Authentication Change ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’.” Wired, Conde Nast, 18 Feb. 2023,

Peters, Bill. “Here’s How Many Subscribers Meta Could Get through Meta Verified.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 21 Feb. 2023,

“Social Media Account Hijacking Jumps 1,000% in Last 12 Months: Report.” TechNewsWorld, 28 Mar. 2023,

“Testing Meta Verified to Help Creators Establish Their Presence.” Meta, 27 Mar. 2023,

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