Today, Jan 9. 2023, marks one year since we lost Bob Saget, who died in a Florida hotel room last year due to blunt trauma to the head. But while friends, family, and fans remember the beloved comedian, his widow Kelly Rizzo would also really like to know where her late husband’s blue Twitter checkmark has gone.
On the anniversary of her husband’s death, Rizzo went right to the platform’s new owner Elon Musk to ask exactly what the deal is.
“Hi [Elon Musk] — today on the 1 year anniversary of Bob’s passing, I saw he’s no longer verified? My husband truly loved Twitter,” she tweeted at Musk. “Out of respect for his legacy, can something be done? Thank you kindly (friends, please help).”
In a followup tweet, Rizzo noted that the only reason she was asking was because she knew that Saget would be bummed to learn that his blue checkmark was lost. “He’d say ‘Hey, if someone goes to see my page and all the jokes I’ve tweeted over the years, how will they know it’s for sure me?!'” she added.
And the only reason I’m addressing this at all is because I know Bob would be very bummed about this. He’d say “hey, if someone goes to see my page and all the jokes I’ve tweeted over the years, how will they know it’s for sure me!?”— Kelly Rizzo (@EatTravelRock) January 9, 2023
Musk has made his feelings on the verified blue checkmark plainly clear since acquiring Twitter last year.
What was introduced as a feature to differentiate public figures from copycats and trolls (and to, you know, prevent lawsuits) has for some reason become the bane of Musk’s existence. Instead, the 51-year-old keeps threatening to dismantle legacy checkmarks in favor for his “Twitter Blue” system that charges users $8 per month for the honor of a blue tick next to their names.
But … would the SpaceX founder really be so petty to unverify users who are deceased? It would appear so, actually. A quick search of celebs who have died in the past year indicate that Barbara Walters, Leslie Jordan, Anne Heche, and Aaron Carter all no longer have verified accounts. (Coolio, on the other hand, is still verified at the time of this writing.)
Of all of Musk’s baffling decisions, this certainly seems to stand out. On top of the pain it may cause surviving family to see that their loved ones are no longer verified on Twitter, the potential for other ramifications is significant. After all, just because someone is deceased doesn’t mean that they can’t still be impersonated by bad actors, which could cause even more unnecessary suffering for those grieving a loss.
It’s just astoundingly poor form all around, and hopefully Rizzo speaking up will bring Saget and others checkmarks back.