Many of Twitter’s high-profile users are losing the blue checks that helped verify their identity and distinguish them from impostors on the Elon Musk-owned social media platform.
After several false starts, Twitter began making good on its promise Thursday, April 20, 2023, to remove the blue checks from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee to keep them. Twitter had about 300,000 verified users under the original blue-check system — many of them journalists, athletes and public figures. The checks — which used to mean the account was verified by Twitter to be who it says it is — began disappearing from these users’ profiles late morning Pacific Time.
High-profile users who lost their blue checks Thursday included Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and former President Donald Trump.
The costs of keeping the marks range from $8 a month for individual web users to a starting price of $1,000 monthly to verify an organization, plus $50 monthly for each affiliate or employee account. Twitter does not verify the individual accounts, as was the case with the previous blue check doled out during the platform’s pre-Musk administration.
Celebrity users, from basketball star LeBron James to author Stephen King and Star Trek’s William Shatner, have balked at joining — although on Thursday, all three had blue checks indicating that the account paid for verification.
It wasn’t just celebrities and journalists who lost their blue checks Thursday. Many government agencies, nonprofits and public-service accounts around the world found themselves no longer verified, raising concerns that Twitter could lose its status as a platform for getting accurate, up-to-date information from authentic sources, including in emergencies. (AP)