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Twitter starts to remove blue ticks from verified accounts

  • April 21, 2023

Twitter CEO Elon Musk after buying the social media giant for $44 billion announced that $8 will be charged for the blue checkmark. However, an option was given to the “legacy accounts” — that pre-date Musk’s takeover — to pay for a subscription if they lose the blue tick.

Though the deadline for removal was April 1, on Thursday, Twitter initiated its drive to remove the marks from the verified legacy accounts. The drive did not spare even prominent international personalities such as Bill Gates.

The organisations that lost their mark include Human Rights Watch and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. People have also tweeted not to subscribe to the Twitter premium.

Nevertheless, some people have reported possessing blue ticks without paying the required amount. Author Stephen King wrote on Twitter: “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.”

A number of government and non-governmental organisations have lost their marks which sparked concerns about how people would be able to distinguish among the verified platforms for information during emergencies.

Nonetheless, the governmental organisations were given grey marks and verified media platforms with golden ticks. It remains unclear on what basis the marks were allotted.

The blue checkmark was not only a sign but a mark of “authentication” that the user is not fake. It helped the users not to become prey to disinformation. The marks were allotted to public figures such as celebrities, politicians, journalists and media companies.

The users have criticised the drive to remove the marks while saying it will encourage fake news.

In early November 2022, the social media platform suspended the launch of Twitter Blue following concerns about fake accounts. It was later launched in December after changes.

Similar concerns were sparked after Thursday’s drive that such accounts of renowned people would misguide the public. For instance, a fake profile of Jeff Bezos announced that he was shutting down Amazon.

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