Dear Elon, This is how you make 10s of Billions annually off Twitter
or, Severing the Knot: On Brute Forcing social consensus
Follow me on Twitter: @FromKulak
Things are not going well at Twitter… Sure there have been some embarrassments like the rollout of the 8 dollar verification…
But this is minor… depending on who you ask it was either a hit to credibility or one of the most entertaining things to happen on the platform. Something that will either be a hiccup or an endearing memory 5 years from now…
if there is a 5 years from now.
No. What I’m writing to you today to talk about is the not the perceptions, the prestige, the fight against “misinformation”, censorship, Trump, or any number of corporate causes and social responsibility crap.
I’m writing you to talk about money. Twitter is not making nearly enough of it to justify its purchase price, and it should be making money hand over fist. And I want you Elon to start making that money because you are vastly better than anyone who’d replace you in the incestuous Tech/finance/government ecosystem so many call “capitalism”, but is so much closer to fascism.
But before we answer the question “How can Twitter start making money?” We have to answer the question “Why is Twitter losing money?”
I ‘m going to apologize in advance that this is going to get philosophical. I’d avoid it if I could and get to the business proposal, But I must show you why all the problems you are trying to solve are unsolvable any other way. Why this Gordian’s Knot can only be untied with a sword.
This is not A Way to make Twitter profitable, this is THE ONLY WAY to make Twitter profitable:
Simply put the values Twitter’s core business services are structured around are incompatible with the company’s profitability, and while merely changing them would probably be enough to make Twitter profitable, basically nothing would make Twitter profitable without changing them.
Verification, and the Impossibility of the Problem of Identity
The problem of Identity is amongst the hardest and most intractable problems in all of philosophy. Countless volumes have been written about it. Millions of students have wracked their brains in confusion. And hundreds of prominent careers have been made simply by showing how difficult it is.
Twitter has made it a core part of its business model to resolve this problem 10s of thousands of time per hour, for free.
And thanks to the rollout of the paid blue-checkmark scheme we’ve just seen how dependent so many are on having that problem resolved.
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Now the applicability of philosophy 101 to Twitter might not be obvious at first so lets start with a concrete example:
Hannah Montana is a fictional Rockstar created by Disney for their show Hannah Montana. However, part of the business model of the Hannah Montana empire was for Hannah Montana actress and real life musical performer Miley Cyrus to tour in real life and perform concerts as Hannah Montana, in a direct play off the fictional relationship between the fictional Hannah Montana, and her fictional offstage identity of the character Miley Stuart, also played by Miley Cyrus…
Now as Miley Cyrus aged as a musical performer she left Disney, who stilled owned the Hannah Montana character… but Miley Cyrus is the one and only person to have ever played or performed as Hannah Montana! Who gets verified on twitter as Hannah Montana? Bob the aging ad guy Disney assigns to run it and shill the reruns of Hannah Montana on Disney+, or Miley Cyrus the person who’s been playing Hannah Montana for the entirety of the run and who’s known by tens of millions as Hannah Montana?
This is a really common situation with regards to most entertainment acts, and unless you’re going to enforce a “Legal Names Only” policy, (in which case Anti-Semites and the ADL are already rearing for a fight) its a series of battles that can’t be avoided.
The above is even a simplification!
Hannah Montana is a fake name… like a solid 30+% of entertainers and online personalities have.
That means that there are real life “Hannah Montana”s out there who now can’t get verified as Hannah Montana because Disney created a fake character by the name.
There’s almost certainly a “Hannah from Montana” who’s mid-2000s E-business was ruined by Disney taking her name/rhyme for their fictional character and making her ungooglable… can she not get verified under her own name and state?If she challenged for the verification would she be given preference over Disney because she’s actually named Hannah, and has some relation to Montana?
What about just plain Hannah Montana of Boise, Iowa age 16? Can she never be verified under her Actual full legal name because Disney and this hippy from Montana both decided her name would be good branding? What about when she gets famous for something related to her academic research at age 32 and both the Disney character and 2000s E-business are long forgotten? How many followers does a real person with a real name have to have to beat out a fictional character who happens to be owned by a mega-corp?
The above is a simple example.
Wendy’s, the restaurant chain, Is not owned or operated by a young redhead in period attire named Wendy… its operated by an greying brown haired nerd in a modern suit by the name of Todd Penegor:
Now why is Todd entitled to have his company verified as “Wendy”, one of the most common names in the English language… because they got to it first?
What if there’s a “Wendy’s” that a small Diner in Maine which has been continuously operated for 100 years? Can they challenge for the verification on the grounds that they’re actually the original Wendy’s restaurant?
On what grounds can one say no? Prominence?!
So twitter’s policy is to just reinforce corporate and established power wherever it finds it? Todd gets it and Not the Wendy’s diner of Maine, which has been passed down mother to daughter for 100 years across 5 generations of hardworking women named Wendy… because Todd is more powerful than them? And thus deserves the free boost to his established brand?
Obviously not. And don’t you usually charge mega-corps for such a valuable service… hold onto that thought.
Many Prominent youtubers and internet personalities start off taking their names from historical figures… At one point there was a verified Sargon of Akkad (who was subsequently banned).
Now… I don’t want to shock anyone, but the ancient Akkadian warlord is dead, this was a fat nerd from England (so not even from a real place).
Likewise another Youtuber was verified as “Count Dankula”… which again he holds no Titles of Nobility, has no relation to the lands of Romania, and whether or not he’s metaphorically or literally “Dank” has not been verified by any twitter employee.
Were these mistakes? These are prominent figures. They are genuinely known by these names and have impersonators just as assuredly as people would try to impersonate Todd by claiming to be the real “Wendy”.
And They’ve done nothing other entertainers don’t do. Sorry if this breaks any illusions but Lady Gaga is actually an American commoner by the name of Stefani Germanotta and she has no noble claims or even documented connection to Gaga, Central African Republic. Are we going to take Stefani’s verification from her?
It might sound like I’m loading on bizarre hypotheticals but I’m not. These are all real questions Twitter’s verification scheme deals with and answers every day, either consciously, or unconsciously.
I’m gaining popularity on Twitter as CatGirl Kulak, here’s the thing though… I’m neither a Feline-Human hybrid, nor a successful Russian Peasant. Can I just never be verified then? If I get 70 million followers on that account will I still be unverifiable?
Twitter employees either have a philosophy for doling out these verifications or they don’t… And it doesn’t even matter what the answer is, because whether Twitter employees all have deeply thought out philosophies or are all just eyeballing it or some mix from employee to employee, its going to be horribly ad hoc and inconsistent, because there is no coherent answer… We’re discussing THE PROBLEM OF IDENTITY!
The greatest philosophers in history have not solved this problem, and a few have gotten tenure (or executed in Athens) for compellingly arguing how unsolvable it is.
If the Ship of Theseus has to replace half its parts after the first decade at sea, and another half after the second, such that no original part remains, does it keep its verification?
What if none of the crew is the same?
What if the last members of the original crew buy up all the discarded parts and assemble a non-seaworthy version of the original ship from the original pieces? Can they take the Verification “Ship of Theseus” from the military unit? or do they have to verify as “Ship of Theseus: Museum”?
What’s the Answer Elon?
If Captain Kirk goes through the Transporter in Star Trek, but Dr. “Bones” McCoy is right and the Transporter doesn’t teleport, but creates a copy in the destination while deleting the original, does the new Kirk still have his BlueCheck?
What if the transporter malfunctions and fails to delete the original Kirk? Does he keep the verification and the copy have to reverify as “Cloned Captain Kirk”… or does the verification follow the original planned transfer and the fugitive original Kirk become “punished Kirk”, or at least until the StarFleet DOT death squads get him?
Who gets the verification Elon?
Who gets the bluechecks?
Who’s actually Wendy? Todd or Wendy the diner cook?
There’s actually a very easy answer to all these questions Elon. One that will take all these problems away.
An answer that will set you free of all this Phil 101 bullshit and make you billions:
“THE ONE WHO PAYS ME”
There is no reason Miley Cyrus or the House of Mouse deserve the “Hannah Montana” verification over little Hannah Montana from Boise; there’s no reason Stefani deserves to claim the “Lady Gaga” verification when Melany Smith from Richmond, Virginia had set up a twitter account for her dog “Lady Gaga” well before Stephani adopted the stage name; there’s no reason an aging rockband of commoners deserve the verification QUEEN, when Elizabeth II herself had to verify which specific monarch she was, and there’s no reason she should automatically get it when the 1910s swing band Elizabeth II had already built a reputation under that moniker.
and there’s no goddamn reason Todd deserves the verification for one of the most common American name’s possessive form.
So who should get all of them?
You own Twitter. All of these “official” “verified” identities belong to you. That’s how private property works.
When the internet began the domain names… book.com, fox.com, amazon.com… all of them were for sale. It was recognized no one had the right to claim something like “IBM” or “Jim” .com on the basis of a copyright or pre-existing name… so we resolved the issue the way you resolve things in a capitalist economy:
People buy domain names, and as long as they pay the fees to maintain them they own them, thus for a major corporation to get a domain name they really feel they need they don’t plead their prominence, or copyright, or some historical significance to a bureaucrat and have their friends in media try to pressure some middle manager to assign the domain name to them… they have to buy it from the person who owns it.
When Facebook rebranded as Meta and wanted to own all the regional “Meta” domain names they had to buy them, it became a minor scandal in Finland since the owner was actually the Finnish Digital Minister and he failed to disclose how much this American firm was paying the minister in charge of regulating them.
So am I proposing you start a market to resell usernames?
No the usernames are worthless. the president of the United States himself used @RealDonaldTrump and adding a letter or number or whatever does nothing for your credibility.
The blue verified exclusive handles however? Those are worth fortunes.
Back in the Dorsey days there were cases of Twitter employees refusing verification to figures, only to turn around and offer them the verification for tens of thousands cash under the table (direct to the employee’s pockets)….AND PEOPLE WERE PAYING IT!
And yet while bloggers and minor celebrities were paying 10+ grand for a BlueCheck Dorsey was giving these badges out in limitless amounts for free to every fortune 500, politician, government department, and media company in America.
There was maybe the slightest argument this was necessary to get them on the platform when most corporations and celebrities didn’t have accounts… but that excuse is long gone.
So am I proposing creating a property in the verified identity and secondary market to sell them?
Elon. one person owns all of the verifications. Every single one. They’re all just renting them from you!
Time to up the rent.
My Scheme: Verification as a Service
Twitter Blue was horribly poorly conceived… 8$? And not even a real verification? People were paying 10 grand for verification, and while that’s relatively high for an initial payment, those are the figures we should at least allow to Anchor our mindset.
How much does it actually cost to give someone a verification… A REAL ONE.
Actually verifying them as actually being the representative of a company, actually being the person in their photo, actually being the Youtuber behind their anime avatar or historical photo, just like you would a real celebrity.
Realistically an actual human being getting registered under their name requires a customer service rep to see photoID and get on a short video call to make sure its them, (Tinder actually just uses facial recognition, but we’ll assume a real person) or if they’re verifying their relationship with a YouTube channel or a blog or substack, they need to receive a DM or email from them on that platform.
Its human work. It’d be way too expensive to do for free, but realistically it’d take at most 20 minutes on average for an unskilled service worker to do it… so assuming they make $20-30 an hour and even allowing double that for non-salary expenses that still only comes out to AT MOST $20 in expense for verification.
You could lowball and charge a $200 a verification and any customer service staff you hired would be busy for years, hell you could charge $500 and just be reaping it for months… You could charge double or triple just to get around the back catalogue and get fast tracked.
But that’s small nay, MICROSCOPIC compared to where the real money is:
A verification isn’t a one time thing: Its a service.
When a person or a company gets verified Twitter is starting to provide thousands of dollars worth brand maintenance services to them. Twitter is continuously allowing them to distinguish themselves from everyone else with similar branding, from parody, joke and troll accounts, and is giving them distinction, validation, and a marker of quality and authenticity that in any other business setting they’d be paying through the nose to achieve.
Twitter doesn’t just slap on a blue checkmark and call it a day Twitter stands ready to discipline users who try to impersonate the verified brand, and do it damage. politicians, celebrities, companies… they value their brands more than their individual locations and persons. They pay vastly more to protect their brands than they do on physical security…
and you’ve been providing tens of billions in brand security for free Elon.
The Internet’s a Dangerous Place for a Brand
The McGangBang was an obscene meme that became a national sensation.
Formed by placing a McChicken, or a junior Chicken in Canada (even more scandalous), between a double cheeseburger, you wind up with the visual gag of a single white meat sandwiched between two dark meats.
This is now the most popular off-menu item in the world, and McDonald’s hates it.
McDonalds has two customer bases they appeal to: families: thus the playpens, cartoon characters, etc. and the younger lower income market: thus the barebones, economical… everything.
The McGangBang could have been invented in a Burger King psychological warfare lab, it so precisely pits these two core markets against each other.
The pornographic name is deeply amusing to the lower income 16-36 demographic that will visit a discount burger restaurant at any hour, but it is horrifying to young mothers and the older 50-80 lower income demographic who consumes all the McDonald’s coffee and early bird breakfast items.
Simply put if the McGangBang ever became a routine menu item it’d destroy about 50% of McDonald’s brand value and maybe even that much of the market, mothers and septuagenarians are so turned off by that talk.
so what was the solution?
If you go into a McDonald’s and ask for a McGangbang, this is what will happen: the employee will look confused and claim to not know what you’re talking about… you’ll explain this very simple concept and they’ll act even more confused “You want a McChicken with a Double Cheeseburger on the side?”, you’ll clarify this very very simple idea, and they’ll summon superhuman levels of stupidity to not get it… at no point will an employee laugh at the joke, or recognize the famous meme… this back and forth will just continue. Until it reaches Abott and Costello levels of absurd incomprehension.
then you’ll give up and have a quarter pounder.
Now I’m going to let you in on a secret… every single McDonald’s employee knows exactly what a McGangBang is, they learn it in orientation, indeed they spend more time learning about it than every other sandwich on the menu! They learn this script. They’re trained to execute it. And they learn that if they’re ever caught serving a McGangBang they’ll suffer instant termination without recourse.
Think about all the resources that go into that!
Every new employee receiving minutes of instruction, above and beyond what they do for any other sandwich, and minutes of the trainer’s time, complete with very expensive strict termination of otherwise effective employees for one time screwups in an industry who’s main struggle is keeping fully staffed… multiplied across tens of thousands of locations and dozens if not hundreds of employees over the lifetime of each location…
This has cost McDonald’s hundreds of thousands if not millions!
And all for a sandwich they don’t even serve!
THIS is what the internet does to brands Elon.
The same creativity and irreverence that gives us all the memes, the impermanence of identity that creates all the great characters and personalities that spring up online (much more interesting than they are in real life),the irreverent interplay of sex, politics, culture, history, and stupidity… the chaotic impermanence of representation that lets male gamers represent themselves with anime girls for the Lulz and lets tumbler invent 62 genders…
Everything that everyone loves/groans at when it comes to the internet, its all caustic to permanent institutional identity. Its why politicians, fortune 500s and governments still struggle after all this time to have significant cultural sway… their every source of power: Credentials, prestige markers, institutional consistency/established power… Internet culture inherently degrades and disrespects.
Hell regular culture degrades it!
Think of how few cultural assumptions have remained the same since the 1950s. The most iron coded and legally enforced sexual, racial, political, and social taboos have all collapsed and been consumed by the sands of time and culture.
How the hell is it brands have survived?
How is it a king as great as Ozymandias commands “look on my works ye mighty and despair” and nothing remains to see, and yet when we find a 100 year old advertisement in the dessert telling us to “have a Coke” we can go into the nearest convenience store and get one?
The trick is:
there is no trick.
Coca-Cola maintains its brands from cultural decay the same way the US government maintains its interstate highway systems: by spending billions of dollars annually to shore-up their foundations, repair any damage, and merely maintain what exists.
The Coca-Cola corporation spent 4 billion on ads in 2018 alone. BILLION!
80+% of these ads aren’t acquiring new customers, everyone has basically decided what soft drinks and junk food they like, if any, they’re just saturating the cultural marketplace so that something like the McGangBang or the Pepsi challenge can’t displace or alter what their products mean in the culture. They have their kingdom, they’re just spending billions a year fortifying it.
In fact they’re spending more defending their brands than 100 real nations spend annually on actual military defense, including Finland, The Philippines, Peru, Iraq, and North Korea.
Do you see why I’m saying you should be making 10s of billions annually Elon!
You control 100% of the fastest moving most identity corrosive medium in all of modern media. Twitter is its own medium within the culture on a par with television, radio, billboards, corporate sponsorship, or the entire rest of social media… Its that unique.
Nations have been destroyed by Twitter. Ask Mubarak, Gadhafi or Assad if they were spending enough on their Twitter propaganda… you might struggle to reach a few of them.
And yet these megacorps who live and die off their brands feel perfectly safe not only NOT advertising on Twitter, but actively insulting you personally and sending out press releases trying to damage your business prospects.
Why do they feel they can do this? How is it they feel its safe to alienate the man who controls the most dangerous entertainment medium in the world?
Because they’ve been receiving 10s of billions in free brand protection annually from Twitter for over a decade, and they’ve come to believe this isn’t a great gift they’ve been granted, but their right, and now, like every entitled child, they’re distaining their protector as a servant.
Time to teach them a lesson.
This is my proposal:
By the time we are done there will be 3 tiers of twitter users:
Regular unverified users (NoChecks)
who are happy to deal with the impermanence and rough and tumble of the internet. This will be mostly low follower content consumers, but there will be some high-quality indy creators with higher follower count 1k-100k who are fine dealing with the rough and tumble of pure internet fame. These people keep the platform interesting, you probably won’t be able to force them to pay if you tried (you can barely enforce long term bans against them), as they grow they’ll make up the new crop of people who eventually have brands big enough to pay for verification, and they’re invariably more rough and tumble, less respectable… they have anime avatars half of them, and they treat the bluecheck as a mark of scorn they counter signal against, insisting their lack of institutional respect makes them more authentic (and it does for their audience)
Naturally this countersignaling drives a lot of the value of the BlueCheck, that journalists, academics, and officials can’t be mistaken for these shit-posters. Another reason not to disrupt them.
Verified Users (BlueChecks)
These are everyone of them paying members of the Twitter community. Either they had a pre-existing verification, they payed for Twitter Blue and thus were allowed to get properly verified at reduced cost, or they have a new verification and had to pay the $200-500 per account initial verification fee to have a real customer service rep verify them.
But no matter how they got the verification, every single one of these verified users is paying monthly for Verification Maintenance. Ostensibly this is them paying for the service of keeping them verified, shutting down impersonators if they ask, and some implication that twitter is somehow checking every so often to make sure they’re still them. But really its just a fee to keep their Blue Checkmark.
This costs a minimum $8 a month, but increases in proportion to their number of followers, such that it costs 1/10th of a cent a month per follower, or a dollar a month per 1000 followers. So up to 8k followers you’re just paying $8 a month, but someone with 10k will have to pay $10 a month, someone with 100k will have to pay $100 a month… and the richest/most famous man in the world, if he was being treated just like an ordinary user, would have to pay $119,500 a month to maintain his verification…minimum.
finally there’s a third category:
Verification Lapsed (BlankChecks)
If anyone is ever verified and then fails to pay their monthly verification maintenance fees, not only do they lose their twitter blue tools, they lose their Verification Maintenance.
They aren’t having their verification taken away… because we aren’t calling it taking their verification away.
Rather because they’re no longer paying to maintain their verification Twitter is no longer expending resources to continuously certifying they are who they are. As such, to make sure the general public is aware of the risk of misinformation, their checkmark has turned blank, thus letting the public know this account was once certified as something at some point, but that Twitter is no longer expending moderation resources to prevent impersonation or verify identity.
In time a BlankCheck will be regarded with suspicion because any troll who’s ever bought twitter blue, paid for verification, or just happened to be verified as something at some point, could flawless impersonate this formerly verified account without any mod resources being expended.
You already see the implications:
A BlankCheck amongst ordinary users is a license to troll.
All that has to happen is a verified account misses their payment and the hordes of BlankChecks are now given free rein to impersonate them and do to that delinquent account what those rapscallion Twitter Blue users did to George Bush and Tony Blair:
Indeed for many this will be the great appeal of paying the $200-500 to get verified, that afterwards their troll game will be levelled up in unimaginable ways…
And of course the Blank checkmark will be an advertisement that the name they were verified blue under is now for sale.
This is why you won’t just bounce them back to Unverified “NoChecks” you’ll want their direct payment status tracked and visible to ordinary users… and it’ll all be gloriously deniable.
“No it isn’t any kind of penalty. We’re merely letting people know they have been verified and are not mere randos, whilst letting people know said verification is not being actively maintained by Twitter’s moderation authority: per the account owners own wishes and financial decisions”
These kinds of neutral formal corporate speech, where you just explain how a transaction works in the most boring language possible… this is going to be invaluable to you Elon. Seriously hire some boring econ grads to start writing them for you.
NOW WE GET TO THE REAL MONEY:
All of the above is the smallest of small potatoes.
Individual users? $8 a month to stay verified? 1 cent per month for every ten followers beyond that?
I cannot emphasize enough how little the above or the revenue it generates matters in the scheme of things.
The only reason we are establishing all of this is because it will serve as the uniform framework for what really matters:
Corporate and business class verification.
Fortune 500s, Sports Teams, Governments, Politicians, Celebrities, Magnates of finance and business…
You of all people Elon, I shouldn’t have to impress this upon… but for my other readers: Losing control of your brand is fatal to all of these.
One bad album or scandal can kill a celebrity's career, one change in perception can kill a product, brand, or even destroy a sport’s teams earnings (think of the what happened to the value of Lance Armstrong’s brand), the stink of unreliability can destroy corporations and even billionaires… Look at Kanye’s earnings…
So if they want to control their brand’s on Twitter… If Todd wants to control “Wendy’s” the possessive form of one of the most common female names in America, If Ray Crock’s corporation wants to control the possessive form of the name of Clan “Macdonald”, if Former president George W. Bush want’s to control that arrangement of two of the most common names in America and 1 of 26 possible initials, if the Disney corporation wants to control the last name “Disney” or retain the name “Hannah Montana” from any competitors, or prevent any rodent owners form setting up a verified account for their mouse “Mickey”… If the Coca-Cola corporation want’s to control “Coke” as a shortform for their beverage….
They they all have to pay an amount commiserate… not with their inevitably lackluster social media marketing campaigns (how many followers they have)… but with the underlying value of the brand.
You are going to be hiring hundreds of people Elon… maybe thousands.
And I’m not talking about the do nothing laptop workers you just let go. I’m talking about cut-throat salespeople and negotiators.
The lower level of these will be mere customer service reps and “Verification specialists” people who will answer the phone-calls, check the accounts, and actually do the verification of all the lower level influencers who want to pay $500 to get verified on their 1000 follower accounts.
But the upper levels of your Salesforce Elon… they are going to be the most feared and ruthless negotiators in all of marketing, if not all of American business.
Lets discuss Todd’s company again: “Wendy’s”…. prime twitter real estate. An entire common American first name… and a massive valuable brand, in the midst of the cut throat fast food market.
“Wendy’s” 3.9 million twitter followers would suggest you charge them 3.9 thousand a month for verification following the above scheme for ordinary users. (3.9m x $1/1000= $3.9k)
But we aren’t going to charge Wendy’s 3.9k a month.
Elon your Twitter Account Executives are going to walk into Wendy’s headquarters, walk into Todd’s office, and tell him that if he wishes to maintain the “Wendy’s” twitter verification then he is going to sign a 3 year contract at $100,000 PER MONTH.
They will tell him that is the non-negotiable bare minimum. And that if he want’s to retain control of the associated verifications: “Wendy”, “WENDY”, “WENDY’S” “Wendy’s Restaurant” “Wendy’s Burgers”, “Wendy the Redhead”, “Redheaded Wendy”… this complete package, with the core verification, is going to cost a combined 150-200k per month. 200-250k if he wants to also secure his executive suite and all of their core manager’s verification.
Now if Todd is smart he will agree immediately, and accept this as a very cheap way to maintain their brand in a medium now more important than Television… If he’s a little slow he’ll try to negotiate, and your infamously ruthless Account Executives will make it clear what’s what.
And if he’s a complete Idiot he’ll play hardball and refuse.
Now some of my readers might be thinking “What are you talking about! Of course he’ll refuse. He isn’t just going to sign away 3.6 to 10 million dollars over 3 years!?”
Oh but dear reader he will!
And here’s why:
If Todd refuses and lets the “Wendy’s” verification lapse and go up the market…
there will be a girl.
She’ll be young 18-25, fit, she’ll be a redhead, she’ll often even wear blue retro dresses, and what do you know… her name will actually be Wendy!
She’ll be authentically “Wendy” in every way Todd and his suites could never be.
And this girl Elon, the second she hears Todd’s verification has lapsed, will immediately make an offer to buy the “Wendy’s” verification for $20,000 a month, hell she might offer 30,000. And she’ll even be willing to agree to a 2-3 year contract after some negotiation.
“Why would she do this?” You might ask.
She will do this because she’s going to use the verification to promote her OnlyFans.
The immediate news story alone would drive enough traffic to make her purchase well worth it.
The Internet’s Native Industries
You might think this is gauche. You might think this is trashy and not worth considering…
But these are the internet’s native industries and cultures. These are the enterprises that naturally thrive in rough and tumble of internet marketing, the irreverence of internet culture, and the perfect recall yet shocking impermanence of internet memory.
If major companies and fortune 500s don’t think their brands and verifications are worth 10s to 100s of thousands a month, these Internet Native Industries will gladly pay the lower end of the range for a shot to build their empires and brands by tearing the old empires down.
If IBM(International Business Machines) the fortune 500 doesn’t think their brand is worth 10s to 100s of thousands a month, then IBM (Irresistible Blonde MILFs) certainly will.
If Goldman Sach’s doesn’t think they want their verification, then Arty Goldman, the Teabagging Jewish Call of Duty streamer will gladly pay for it instead.
If Lady Gaga’s record label doesn’t think her verification is worth the outrageous amounts your Account Executives demand, then some petty nobility will gladly pay for it instead to promote their new line of Baby Clothes.
If George W. Bush the president does not think his verification is worth continued payments, then George Wainwright Bush, the 9/11 truther from Kentucky, will gladly pay some fraction of what the brand is worth to promote his theories of how the Saudis and CIA did the whole thing.
And if you think “But none of these examples actually exist” some entrepreneurial wannabe “influencer” will go to their county offices and register a business, or the courthouse and even legally change their name, the second they realize the opportunity is open.
There is no reason Todd deserves to own the possessive form of the name “Wendy”, there is no reason Stefani Germanotta deserves to own the name “Lady Gaga”, there is no reason a band of commoners deserves to own the title “QUEEN”, just as their is no reason a fortune 500 deserves to own the 3 letter arrangement “IBM”, just as there is no reason even someone with the legal name George Walker Bush, deserves to own the Title “George W. Bush” or even the moniker “George Walker Bush” over every other human being who does, or might, have the same name.
There are real life “Hannah Montana”s out there “[First Name] [Last Name]" who can never be verified under their own bloody name, but instead will have to use some variant “Hannah Montana of Montana” because the Suites at the Walt Disney corporation created a fictional character years after they were born that happened to steal that arrangement of letters.
Why should former president George W. Bush, a literal war criminal, get his own name for free, when innocent Hannah doesn’t? Anyone could write a fictional character named “George W. Bush” just as Disney wrote their character for Miley Cyrus to play…
Your Empire is waiting Elon
No one owns words and letter arrangements Elon. Just as there’s no metaphysical reason you yourselves should own the last name of a dead inventor for your car company, there’s no ancestral or moral right for any company or anybody to own the complete form of any name and certainly not any shorthand. There are 8 billion people on this planet! Everyone (with the possible exception of little X Æ A-Xii) has someone else with an equally plausible claim to their name or brand.
Just as in the early days of the internet the developers of the Web domain protocol didn’t give dot.com’s away based on merit, but instead sold them based on who was willing to pay. You likewise will judge on the basis of willingness to pay.
THIS IS YOUR PLATFORM. THIS IS YOUR HOUSE. THIS IS YOUR DOMAIN PROTOCOL. THIS IS YOUR GAME OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.
If you went off the deep end and wanted to force every brand, politician, and corporation to take a medieval title and start addressing each other as “Sir. Wendy of the burger house” or you’d kick them the off the platform, then that would be your goddamn right because it is your goddamn property.
And if they want you to keep their brands from falling to ashes then you are bloody well going to demand your pound of flesh for the service.
NO ONE is entitled to control how other people’s brains associate words and ideas.
If the ALIMGHTY HIMSELF descends from saint peters with an escort of Angels and appears before you asking for the twitter verification “GOD” that he might better instruct mortals on living a holy and upstanding life, then your Account Executives are going to demand 10 billion annually, with an upfront 50 billion joint scientific/philosophical/theological verification project to be paid at Heaven’s expense.
And if the Angels balk, then you will let them know that you have received counter-offers on the coveted verification from Kanye West, The Church of Scientology, a Mr. L. Cypher, and “Good Old Days: The webcomic for old people”.
Bluechecks whether they be Coporations, politicians, celebrities, influencers, journalists, or academics… they feel they own their verifications. That that exclusive identity is their property and they are entitled to the status it conveys.
They are wrong Elon. It is your property. It is all your property. And whether you want optimize it, swap it about, or slap it on a garbage fire just to watch it burn is entirely your choice just as if they were collectibles in your scrapbook. And if anyone else wants to use your property for something, whether it be influencers, celebrities, megacorps, politicians or God himself, you are going to charge them for the use of your property… and as a good businessman you are going to set the price at what you think its worth TO THEM.
If you do this Elon your empire will be worth tens of billions annually.
CNN… that relic of bygone era, has been making over 1 Billion annually in revenue up until this year when they finally dropped into the 9 figure range. That is one TV station in a dying medium that the majority of corporations do not have to touch unless they’re trying to launder influence or sell adult diapers.
By contrast Twitter is an entire medium that is growing in influence and has destroyed nations… If a half dozen Arab regimes couldn’t survive Twitter’s wrath in 2012, what makes Pfizer or Volkswagen think they can pull their ad revenue in 2022 now that its vastly bigger ands vastly more powerful?
You don’t think there are things the internet would do with both those brands if they stopped paying you to maintain their verification? You don’t think they have skeletons in their closets that the internet wouldn’t jump to highlight?
And these brands has the audacity, the nerve! to antagonize you Elon… the one man holding back the flood.
They should be begging you for mercy, prostrating themselves and their fortunes before you. And then you should be deciding, at leisure, whether you think their groveling and offerings have been sufficient… that you have been persuaded to do business with them again in spite of their bad faith and belligerence.
You will have made yourself the lord of the internet Elon… it will be up to you to decide whether you are merciful.
Yes I’m talking Tens of Billions
500 fortune 500 companies. Each paying 500k to 2 million annually for their base brand, thats 250 million to 1 Billion annually… then there is every other company and sub-brand that they own and have to maintain… Wendy’s is only one brand in the Wendy’s company, that includes Arby’s, Buffalo wild wings… these sub brands will be another billion or two. Then there are all the companies outside the fortune 500 who have valuable brands, another 1-2 billion, then there are all the celebrities who have to maintain their personal brands 0.5 to 1 billion… then political campaigns, regular politicians, national brands, departments of governments, NGOs, all those petty journalists and academics who value their bluechecks as much or more than their degrees…
This very quickly gets above ten billion Elon.
Especially when you consider how disproportionately skilled account executives could squeeze the big fish in each category: The academic or journalist who’s just released a major book, the child friendly megacorp who has more named characters and brands than most companies have employees, all of whom need to be secured from the usual internet treatment.
The only problem is Jack Dorsey’s accommodating treatment and experience has taught them they don’t need to pay for your invaluable protection of their brands… that they should get this free even as they pay even slumlords for worthless billboards.
It doesn’t make sense… and yet they’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain their dominant position. Every Celebrity, Journalist, Influencer, Corporation, Government Department, and Head of State feels their verification is their birth right.
A plan of battle will be needed to fight them and make them accept that they’re merely renting their online identity from you Elon.
And boy do I have plans for such a fight.
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