The Blue Check Carnival On Twitter

How Twitter today is like a Renaissance Carnival


Carnival was this release where people could wear masks, take over the public square, and mock authority. Also indulge in violent stone-throwing, extortion, harrassment, and plain old trolling. The latter describes Twitter on a good day, but by opening up blue checks, Elon Musk has unleashed a full-on Carnival on authority. Including against himself.

For a sense of carnival, I skimmed Luca Landucci’s diaries from 1450 to 1516 diaries (just the February parts). They’re fascinating. Young men would erect barriers, collect payment from anyone who passed, and engage in violent stone-throwing on the streets. Basically usurping the state’s monopoly on violence and taxation, just for a day. They also seemed to die with some regularity. As Landucci wrote:

As the footnotes not, “the most sacred things were scoffed at, under a veil of delicate irony.” This again describes ordinary Twitter, but under the rule of the new Doge Elon Musk, the town square has gone full carnival, complete with masks and mockery. Even the Doge himself is scoffed at, as below:

Under the previous regime, Twitter blue checks were doled out by permission, and denoted some sort of authority. You could get them for wide celebrity, or just having bylines in a western propaganda outlet. Musk, however, immediately put them up for sale, and the unwashed masses have simply donned those icons of power like so many masks. And sometimes the masks tell the truth more than the usual lying we get to our face.

Take some heathen pretending to be warlord Lockheed Martin:

It is actually true that Lockheed Martin’s main customers are the worst human rights abusers on the planet. These countries wear the mask of…



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at