Linked List Archive

The Initial Charge Linked List is a collection of notable links and brief commentary, with entries regularly added throughout the week.

Twitter Quietly Drops $8 Paid Verification ➝

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

On Internet Silos ➝

Manuel Moreale:

The more I think and read about it, the more I’m convinced that there’s no solution to the centralisation issue we’re currently facing. And that’s because I think that fundamentally people are, when it comes to the internet, lazy. And gathering where everyone else is definitely seems easier. It’s also easier to delegate the job of moderating and policing to someone else and so as a result people will inevitably cluster around a few big websites, no matter what infrastructure we build.

This is likely true. And that’s okay.

Most people use Gmail. It has the highest marketshare among email services. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for ProtonMail, Fastmail, and others to succeed in the space. As for social networks, yes, most people are going to congregate on a small number of services, but that doesn’t mean Mastodon and other alternatives can’t be successful in their own right.

Mastodon winning doesn’t mean Twitter needs to lose.

➝ Source: manuelmoreale.com

Twitter to Add ‘Official’ Label to Government Accounts, Brands, Public Figures, and More ➝

Yours truly, in May 2021:

I always thought Twitter would open verification to everyone — a two-tiered system where any user could pay a nominal fee and provide documentation to verify. Public figures would be in a separate verification tier, without a fee, and chosen by Twitter. Which isn’t to necessarily say that this is a good idea.

I’ve linked to the truncated version of this post on Twitter, since the original was published on a WordPress site I was experimenting with that I’ve since shuttered. But I’ve included the full quote for completeness sake — I also had it saved to Day One.

But it’s interesting that my thoughts on the future of Twitter’s verification system now seem to be the exact direction they’re heading. I can’t say I love the idea, but I think this is actually a good business decision. It will let them lessen their reliance on advertising, continue to allow for verification of public figures, give users a way to reduce the number of ads in their feed, and allow anyone to have the same algorithmic advantages that were previously only available to those blessed with the blue check.

Update: Elon has, interestingly, killed the “Official” badge. It seems that he doesn’t want there to be a group of users that are given a special benefit that isn’t available to everyone — in a follow up tweet:

Blue check will be the great leveler

I still think it would be a good idea to have some kind of verification system to prevent impersonation. Maybe they’ll implement something like Mastodon has that checks the URL added to your profile for a rel="me" back link, allowing each user to utilize a domain that’s known to be owned them as a way to verify the account. This method would be easy to implement and available to everyone.

➝ Source: mobile.twitter.com

Leaked Documents Outline Government Plan to Police Speech ➝

This is a pretty blatant violation of the first amendment and, sadly, not surprising to those of us that have been paying attention. There needs to be a class action lawsuit for anyone that was suspended or banned from these platforms for discussing the topics that were targeted.

➝ Source: theintercept.com

Podcasters Are Buying Millions of Listeners Through Mobile-Game Ads ➝

Advertising-based business models don’t work in digital spaces. There are too many incentives to try and abuse the system, which will inevitably break the supply and demand curve.

Some of this can be mitigated with closed systems where there can be a bit more trust between everyone involved. Direct advertiser and publisher relationships, for example, with no ad platform intermediary — but that has its own set of ethical problems.

But the key takeaway is, if you run a business that gets the majority of its revenue from ads, you should have already been thinking of ways to change that.

➝ Source: bloomberg.com

Google Ending Stadia ➝

In the little bit that I’ve been looking at game streaming services recently, Stadia never seemed to be high on the recommendations lists.

➝ Source: blog.google

Blocking Annoying and Privacy-Harming Cookie Consent Banners ➝


Starting with the current Brave Nightly, and in version 1.45 when it releases in October, the Brave browser will block cookie consent notifications on Android and Desktop (and, soon after, on iOS). Cookie consent notifications are an infamous and near-constant annoyance on the Web. They break and disrupt one of the main benefits of the Web: the ability to browse content across many sites and publishers conveniently and easily. And, what is ironic, many cookie consent systems actually track users, introducing the exact harm the consent systems were supposed to prevent.

New versions of Brave will hide—and, where possible, completely block—cookie consent notifications.

I’m looking forward to this feature launching.

➝ Source: brave.com

RetroAchievements ➝

A nifty web service that adds achievements to retro games played on supported emulators. I created an account a couple of days ago and added it to RetroArch on my Retroid Pocket 2+. Now whenever I play a compatible game, I can earn achievements and contribute to leaderboards automatically.

➝ Source: retroachievements.org