Twitter Blue badge

Twitter has started withdrawing its distinctive blue badge from those with verified accounts who have not subscribed to Twitter Blue after months of delays.

After purchasing Twitter for $44 billion, Elon Musk introduced Twitter Blue a year ago, adding an $8 per month charge for the blue tick indicator as well as a selection of additional services.

Checkmarks were first created to stop people from impersonating prominent personalities, and users with checkmarks that preceded Musk's acquisition, known as "legacy accounts," were given the choice to pay for the membership when it went live or potentially forfeit their checkmark.

Twitter started deleting markings from hundreds of legacy accounts on Thursday after delaying the initial registration deadline many times, including those of well-known individuals like Pope Francis, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian.

Well-known groups including Human Rights Watch and the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People also lost their checkmarks, and several of them tweeted about their choice not to sign up for Twitter Blue.

Author Stephen King, who tweeted, "My account on Twitter says I've subscribed to Twitter Blue, but I didn't pay for it," was one of the famous people who used Twitter to explain why they had kept their mark without paying. I didn't. My Twitter profile indicates that I have provided a phone number. I didn't."

Concerns have been raised regarding how the public would be able to discern official sources for data from other accounts during public events or crises when a large number of government organisations, NGOs, and public-service accounts similarly lost the checkmark.

Under Musk, verified media sites have received a gold tick, while verified governmental accounts have received a grey version of the checkmark, but it is unclear how these badges are distributed.

The blue checkmark, which was frequently designated for politicians, celebrities, journalists, and media organisations, was seen as a sign of reliability since it showed the identity of an individual had been confirmed by the platform, assisting users in spotting impostor accounts and false content.

Due to concerns that the new approach would promote the dissemination of false information and fake news, several Twitter users protested the changes.

Following a flood of impersonator accounts, Twitter had to postpone the first activation of Twitter Blue until early November 2022. After making adjustments, the platform was reinstated in December.

Similar turmoil resulted from the elimination of checkmarks for non-paying customers on Thursday. Fake profiles for well-known people, including Jeff Bezos, appeared and claimed the billionaire was "officially shutting down Amazon."

Several accounts for media houses have reappeared since their checkmark was removed across the globe.


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