The $8 checkmark allowed for some of the best comedy on the platform in years. It’s a shame they had to shut it down.
I don’t think this is the end of the feature, though. It would seem trivial to perform a check each time a verified user changed their display name to make sure they aren’t attempting to impersonate anyone. And the same check can be done at the time of upgrade for the same reason. They already have the list of brands and public figures, too — everyone that was verified under the prior system.
➝ Source: arstechnica.com