- Elon Musk fulfilled his promise to remove blue verification badges from Twitter users, creating a new hierarchy on the platform.
- The verification badge removal affected high-profile accounts, journalists, and celebrities, with some losing their verified status and others remaining verified, creating a balancing effect.
- Musk responded to the news by saying he was paying for some badges personally and offering complimentary subscriptions to those hesitant to pay for verification badges.
Elon Musk made good on his promise to remove the blue verification badges from Twitter users and started dividing the haves and have-nots on Thursday. The verified accounts, signified by a blue tick, began rising above the others, creating a new hierarchy on Twitter. The Pope was one of the first to lose his verified badge, while the Dalai Lama remained verified because he subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified his phone number.
Musk has been critical of the “lords and peasants system” in which journalists, politicians, and celebrities were deemed more trustworthy and received a blue badge. He proposed selling the badges for $8 per month and said it would democratize journalism and give a voice to the people. On Thursday, many high-profile accounts, including those of journalists and celebrities, lost their blue ticks.
However, some celebrities like Rihanna and LeBron James remained verified, creating a balancing effect. Even the Trump family was divided, with Ivanka and Don Jr. still verified, but Eric and former President Donald Trump lost their badges. The removal of verification badges affected every area of celebrity life, with even JK Rowling losing hers and Stephen King being surprised to find he still had his.
Musk responded to the news of the check marks' removal by saying he was paying for some personally and offered a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue to those who were hesitant to pay for the badge.