#RatVerified Trends On Twitter As Users Slam Paid Verification Proposal

Everyone on Twitter is getting #RatVerified, the hashtag trending on the social media platform as users revolt against the paid verification proposal by new owner Elon Musk. Thousands are putting rat emojis in their name as they ratify their profiles.

Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter has already gotten off to an explosive start. The tech billionaire is trying to revolutionize the social media platform, already laying off former executives and promising a suite of changes.

One such change is moving the platform’s verification checkmark, the colloquially named tick, behind a paywall. It would be wrapped into Twitter Blue, the social media site’s subscription service, for $8 a month.

However the change has divided users on the platform, and now some are protesting the move. Instead of checkmarks to prove authenticity, they are using rat emojis.

The trend was started by popular comic creator Alex Cohen, the brains behind Tiny Snek Comics. Cohen called on his fans to become “#RatVerified” after news of Elon Musk’s proposal to put verification behind the Twitter Blue paywall for $8 a month.

“Why would I pay $8 to get a blue check if I could put a rat next to my name for free,” he asked. He even put up a Twitter poll joking about Musk’s $44 billion purchase of the platform, asking who would win between that level of funding or a silly rat in a name.

Cohen’s antics to turn Twitter’s blue checkmark into a rat emoji has gained plenty of traction though. Thousands upon thousands of users are bookending their display names with the rat emoji, and #RatVerified is the number one trending term on the site as of publishing.

Not only are people using it as a sort of protest against the verification changes, they are also using the hashtag to share cute photos of rats and mice everywhere.

Cohen has realized the absurdity of it all, but is leaning into it: “This is perhaps my stupidest contribution to Twitter but regardless everyone should become #RatVerified and ignore whatever stupidity Elon throws your way. Do not pay for this website!”

He also told Newsweek “the current verification system does have a lot of issues, but when it works it helps users spot fake accounts and identify trusted sources of information.”

“Elon Musk’s proposal to charge for verification, and to give those verified users greater visibility, solves none of the current system’s problems and will only make Twitter harder to navigate. I’d rather stick a rat next to my name than support pay-to-play tweeting, and clearly others feel the same way!”

The paid verification is not the only change Musk has proposed for Twitter, with “paid DMs” and removing inactive accounts and handles also on the billionaire’s agenda. Whether they all come to fruition remains to be seen though.

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