In a move to make Twitter's verification checkmark a purchasable verification aesthetic, Twitter has gone ahead and removed blue checkmarks from accounts that were given them before Elon Musk took over the company in October 2022.
These blue checkmarks were given to accounts that went through Twitter's now-legacy verification system, which Twitter's CEO, Elon Musk, calls "deeply corrupted" and caused a "lord & peasants" system. Prior to Musk's takeover, accounts that were given blue checkmarks were typically journalists, celebrities, public figures, organizations, politicians, and any other account that applied, met Twitter's stringent guidelines, and passed an independent verification review.
Twitter announced on April 20 that it would be removing all legacy blue checkmarks and referred any account that previously had a blue checkmark to the Twitter Blue signup page, where the user would have to pay $8 a month to reacquire it. Many celebrities such as Bill Gates, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran, Doja Cat, and more have lost their legacy blue checkmark.
Doja Cat took to Twitter to attack users that have signed up for Twitter Blue, writing that if an account has a blue tick, it "now means there's a higher chance that you're a complete loser and that you're desperate for validation from famous people."
Many celebrities took to Twitter to voice their concern about waking up to something they once had for free being gone, and if they wanted it back would require $8. Some of these celebrities were famous writer Stephen King, Lebron James, and William Shatner, all of which refused to pay Twitter's $8 per month for its Twitter Blue subscription. However, all three of those accounts appear to have a blue checkmark.
Twitter users suspect that Elon Musk is paying for specific celebrity accounts' Twitter Blue subscription, which was recently confirmed by Musk, who replied to an article from The Verge about the same suspicions. Musk wrote, "I'm paying for a few personally". Which accounts are these? It appears Musk has picked up the tab for Stephen King as he commented, "You're welcome namaste", William Shatner as he commented, "You will always be my captain," and Lebron James, since his account is currently verified.
In other Elon Musk news, the Twitter CEO congratulated SpaceX employees for the launch of Starship after the rocket exploded in a fiery display just four minutes after liftoff. SpaceX just conducted Starship's first orbital test, and both the company and Musk said prior to the launch that there was a real chance things could go wrong, with Musk saying in previous interviews that there was as much as a 50% chance the flight would go as planned. If you are interested in reading more about that story, check out the below link.