Elon Musk’s Twitter began the Great Unchecking on Thursday, April 20 – while most have seen their legacy verification checks gone, a select few were surprised to see that they still have their blue checks and are suddenly “subscribed” to Twitter Blue.
Musk later confirmed that he is “paying for a few personally,” and LeBron James’ camp has also confirmed to The Verge that they’ve received an email that the company extended “a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk.”
The basketball star, best-selling author Stephen King, and actor William Shatner are among those who previously denounced paying the $8 per month for verification. It was King who is credited with bringing down Twitter Blue from the original price of $20 to $8.
Some are speculating that their new verification status, which now says that they paid for Twitter Blue, is Musk’s attempt at trolling them.
Regardless, giving away “complimentary” blue checks contradicts his earlier claims about how removing the legacy verification badges is all about equality, and how there shouldn’t be different standards for celebrities.
Other celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Ryan Reynolds, and hmm, OJ Simpson, have also kept their blue checks but it’s unclear whether they paid for it or Musk did.
Paid verification, which only really needs $8 per month for individual accounts, also contradicts the original purpose of these verification badges. The badge, which was given to celebrities, media personalities, politicians, government agencies, and other notable people and organizations, was designed to verify the authenticity of Twitter accounts and protect the account owner against impersonation and the account’s followers from fraud and misinformation.
Musk initially said that legacy verification would be removed beginning April 1 but later walked back on that and said that he would give people a few more weeks to sign up for Twitter Blue.
Information for this story was found via Twitter, The Verge, Fortune, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.