Elon Musk Hands Out Free Verification Checks on X/Twitter for ‘Influential’ Users

Elon Musk Twitter X

Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has reportedly restored blue check marks to prominent users overnight, with some expressing their disapproval of the unsolicited perk.

Variety reports that Elon Musk has once again stirred up controversy on X/Twitter by restoring blue check marks to “influential members of the community.” This decision comes after Musk’s initial plan to remove legacy blue checks and require users to subscribe to X Premium (formerly Twitter Blue) to maintain their verified status.

Musk had discussed this change on March 27, writing: “Going forward, all X accounts with over 2,500 verified subscriber followers will get Premium features for free and accounts with over 5000 will get Premium+ for free.”

Elon Musk x / Twitter

An effigy of Elon Musk is seen on a mobile device with the X and Twitter lgoso in the background in this photo illustration on 23 July, 2023 in Warsaw, Poland. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The new policy, which appears to have gone into effect on Wednesday night, grants complimentary X Premium subscriptions to accounts with over 2,500 verified subscriber followers and X Premium+ to those with more than 5,000 followers. However, not all users are thrilled about the unexpected change.

Several high-profile users took to X/Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the restored blue checks. Community actor Yvette Nicole Brown wrote, “What happened? I didn’t pay for this. I would NEVER pay for this.” Similarly, Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright shared a screenshot of the notification he received about his complimentary subscription, sarcastically commenting, “Translation: Pay $8? Kidding. Help me. But don’t say anything too free speechy about me or my Garbage Tower of Babel shitsite.”

The Wire creator David Simon was particularly blunt in his reaction, stating, “Yo, Elon, take this blue check and scratch your taint with the long end of it. Does anyone out there know how to turn this fucker off?” Interestingly, Simon’s checkmark was removed shortly after.

John O’Nolan, the founder of the newsletter platform Ghost, commented that 18 months after having his original verified status removed, he had been re-verified randomly.

Musk’s decision to restore the blue checks for influential users is a departure from his previous stance on the platform’s verification policy, which he had called “corrupt and nonsensical” upon acquiring the company in October 2022.

Read more at Variety here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.


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