For a time, Twitter CEO Elon Musk entertained himself by telling people complaining about changes to the platform to pay $8 for their "verified" blue ticks, as advertising revenue for the site crumbles. A new "hack" has given people a way to give themselves a blue tick for free, should they wish to be associated with paying for the ticks, which a lot of celebrities do not.
The "hack" is simple. All you need to do is write the words "former blue check" in your bio, and like magic, or the Candyman, the blue tick will appear.
The trick, which IFLScience has confirmed to work for formerly verified users under the old blue tick system, doesn't appear to work for users who have never been verified.
There are also reports by some former blue check accounts that the blue tick appears whenever they edit their bio, before disappearing shortly afterwards. This did not work when we tried it on a personal account, but did when we altered the bio of the IFLScience Twitter account. This would make more sense, however, for why the error is happening, as there isn't a lot of utility for having blue checks turned on by repeating a forbidden phrase in your bio. Old legacy verified users remain distinguished from other accounts in Twitter's code, though their blue check has been hidden. Altering bios may be what's triggering a brief error.
The ticks appear to disappear quite quickly, but are the latest in a long line of clunky errors that have been appearing on Twitter since Musk took over, making sweeping changes to the timeline, algorithm, and verification system using a greatly reduced team.