The saga around Twitter’s blue checkmarks has just taken an embarrassing turn. Yesterday, Twitter started removing blue checkmarks from legacy verified accounts, but it turns out most people who had one are not willing to pay for Twitter Blue to keep it.
It has since been reported that a couple of celebrities on Twitter including NBA star Lebron James have been offered a free Twitter Blue subscription. Twitter CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he’s “paying for a few personally,” adding in another tweet that the list of celebrities benefiting from his “generosity” include Lebron James, the actor William Shatner, and the author Stephen King.
Just Shatner, LeBron and King
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 21, 2023
King previously said that he wouldn’t pay to keep the verified checkmark on his account. “It ain’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing,” King tweeted back in October. Yesterday, the author confirmed that he never subscribed to Twitter Blue or gave Twitter a phone number, contrary to what the blue checkmark on his profile says. Musk replied to that with “You’re welcome namaste.”
You’re welcome namaste 🙏
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
Elon Musk paying with his own money to have some celebrities keep their blue checkmark is definitely a new low for Twitter, though you never know what stupid thing Musk will do next. The Twitter CEO said months ago that he wanted to end the “lords and peasants system” on Twitter, but now Musk is choosing who deserves to have a verified mark, even though these people may not want it at all.