Why is Twitter removing blue ticks? Who has lost Twitter Blue Tick? The Elon Musk-owned social media platform has delivered on its promise to remove blue verification checks from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee to keep them.
The blue checks disappeared on Thursday from the accounts of some of the most followed celebrities and public figures on Twitter, including Pope Francis, Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump and Lady Gaga.
The purge comes after owner Elon Musk introduced a new paid service last year called Twitter Blue with the intention to “democratize journalism and empower the voice of the people.”
Around 300,000 users had the blue check mark before Musk pulled the plug on the verification system on Thursday. The symbol helped to distinguish the profiles of public figures from impostor accounts and provided an extra shield to prevent misinformation.
Some users, including author Stephen King, appear to have kept the blue check but denied paying for the new service.
Why is Twitter removing blue ticks?
Hundreds of thousands of Twitter users woke up on Friday morning to see that their Blue Tick, a checkmark that used to confer a degree of authenticity on their account was gone. Twitter CEO Elon Musk had earlier announced that on April 20 Blue Tick would be removed from all the accounts that are not paying for Twitter Blue service.
In other words, the company has decided that Blue Tick is no longer a mark to denote authenticity of an account. Instead, it is a badge that is given to users who are willing to pay a monthly fee to Twitter. And currently, not many are paying. The accounts that no longer have Blue Tick or any authentication badge include Shah Rukh Khan, Virat Kohli, most of the politicians, journalists and other celebrities who until April 19 were “verified” on Twitter.
Who has lost Twitter Blue Tick?
Essentially all Twitter users who were verified under the old system and did not subscribe to the Twitter Blue subscription before April 20th are seeing their Blue Tick disappear from their profiles. Twitter began removing the “verified” badges from non-subscribers on April 1st and removed them from selected users’ profiles.
One of the high-profile accounts that lost its Blue Tick earlier was New York Times, reportedly on the direct orders of Elon Musk. However, now most users have lost their verification badge, including journalists, public figures, athletes, government officials, and movie stars.
There are only a few – it’s not clear how many – Twitter accounts that still have the Blue Tick. The notable of these accounts are those used by writer Stephen King and LeBron James. Now, both King and James had earlier announced that they would never pay for Blue Tick. So what’s going on? Well, Elon Musk has said on Twitter that he is paying for Blue Tick on these two accounts.
It is not clear why he is doing so, although people have speculated that this is a sort of trolling because the Twitter Boss wants Twitter users to assume that James and King are paying for Twitter Blue even though they earlier said that they would never pay.
Why Twitter removed blue ticks
The question now is – why? Several reasons, although it is not clear which one is the key reason and which one is just an added bonus for Elon Musk.
Musk, even before he bought Twitter, decried the Blue Tick system. He accused the old Twitter management of having an elitist bias in Verifying accounts. He also said that the Blue Tick system had created two classes of Twitter users. So, as soon as he took over Twitter, Musk started selling the Blue Tick. He said that anyone could now purchase the Blue Tick by paying around $8 monthly fee.
So far so good. But the Blue Tick at a payment didn’t resolve one problem that Musk and his fan base had with the Verified mechanism. Instead of two, it now led to three classes of users: Those who got Blue Tick as a verification badge from previous Twitter management, those who bought Blue Tick from new Twitter, and those without any Blue Tick.
A meme soon started with which people started mocking users who were paying for Twitter Blue and getting a Blue Tick. To muddle the matters, Musk then ordered a change in messaging about the Blue Tick. Instead of identifying which user was paying for Blue Tick and which one got it as a verification badge, Twitter in early April started showing following message to users:
“This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue or is a legacy verified account.”
But now we know this was only temporary. Twitter is trying to boost its revenue and one way it is trying to make more of its users pay is by restricting the Blue Tick to only the paying users. There were over 4 lakh legacy verified users on Twitter. Elon Musk is hoping that by taking away their Blue Ticks, he would probably convert most of them to users who would pay around $8 – in India, between Rs 650-Rs 900 – to regain their coveted Blue badge.
Twitter starts removing blue tick mark from non-paying users
After months of delays, Twitter has begun removing its signature blue checkmark from verified users who have not signed up for its paid subscription service Twitter Blue.
Elon Musk launched Twitter Blue last year after buying the social media platform for $44bn, introducing an $8 monthly charge for the blue tick as well as a number of other features.
Accounts with checkmarks that pre-dated Musk’s takeover, known as “legacy accounts”, were given the option to pay for the subscription following its rollout or risk losing their check mark, which was originally introduced to prevent the impersonation of public figures.
After pushing back the April 1 deadline to sign up several times, Twitter on Thursday began removing checkmarks from thousands of legacy accounts, including prominent figures such as Pope Francis, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian.
Prominent organisations including Human Rights Watch and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also lost their checkmarks, with many tweeting about their decision to not subscribe to Twitter Blue.
Under Musk, verified government accounts have been given a grey version of the checkmark and verified media outlets a gold tick, although it is not clear how these designations are handed out.
The blue checkmark was seen as an indicator of trustworthiness as it meant a user’s identity had been verified by the platform – helping users to identify impersonator accounts and misinformation – and was largely reserved for politicians, celebrities, journalists and media organisations.
Many Twitter users had objected to the changes amid fears the new system would encourage the spread of misinformation and fake news.
Twitter was forced to suspend the initial launch of Twitter Blue in early November 2022 following a wave of impersonation accounts but relaunched the service in December after changes.
The removal of checkmarks for non-paying users on Thursday sparked similar chaos, with impersonator accounts reemerging for public figures such as Jeff Bezos, whose fake account declared the billionaire was “officially shutting down Amazon”.
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