Weeks after Elon Musk announced that only those who subscribed to Twitter Blue would have blue ticks, the social media platform has removed the blue ticks for several legacies verified users.
The policy, which affects thousands of celebrities and public figures on the platform, kicked in on Thursday and is already causing a lot of controversy and confusion.
With the move, only users paying for the $8 monthly Twitter Blue will have a blue tick. The cost includes extra charges depending on whether the user pays through mobile applications or the web.
“We are removing legacy verified checkmarks. To remain verified on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue,” the company said.
Criticism Trails Musk’s Policy
When Musk first announced the move, several celebrities criticized it, saying they would leave the platform. This included Lebron James, who said he wouldn’t pay even if he lost his blue tick.
Legendary actor William Shatner was also one of the critics. According to him, he has been on the platform for 15 years, giving his time and witty thoughts away for bupkis, and now he has to pay for something he got for free.
However, Musk argued at the time that the essence of the policy was to remove the class system on Twitter and treat everyone equally. “There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo,” he added.
More Criticism Trail Removal
Since removing legacy blue ticks started on April 20, several celebrities, journalists, politicians, public figures, and city and religious leaders have lost their blue ticks. Some notable figures with no blue tick include The Pope, Bill Gates, the Rock, and Donald Trump.
But Elon Musk is personally paying for the accounts of certain celebrities such as Stephen King, William Shatner, and Lebron James.
However, the mass removal of blue ticks on Twitter is confusing, as imposters are taking advantage of that. In some cases, the impersonator account has a blue tick, while the actual legacy account does not. This has led to concerns about scammers taking advantage.
There's no point paying for it since it doesn't actually verify anything. Anybody can actually register a handle like "DavidHundey1n" and pay $8 for a blue tag that says that they are me.
Just another one in a long line of daft Elon Musk ideas that he will reverse as usual. https://t.co/BPLVluMKbV
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) April 20, 2023
Imposters Reign Supreme
Several public personalities and organizations insist they will not pay for blue ticks. This includes CNN Journalist Larry Madowo, who now has over 30+ accounts impersonating him.
According to him, other impersonators can get subscribed and claim to be him even if he pays. He noted that removing verification for journalists that use Twitter to share credible information now means that the credibility is gone as any malicious user pays for a blue tick and starts sharing misinformation.
“If unchecked, Twitter could easily become an imposter’s paradise, a scammer’s paradise, a fraudster’s paradise, because of the chaotic scene that has been created by Elon Musk,” he said.
This has already happened when an account impersonating Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) posted that its leader Hemedti had been kicked out. The fake account has a blue tick, while the real account does not. The news of the death turned out to be fake.
However, some people agree with Twitter’s policy, noting that it is a private company and should be allowed to do as it wishes to make a profit. But others believe it will defeat the purpose of blue ticks, which is to prevent impersonation.