By the time you’re reading this, Twitter may or may not have already removed the blue checkmarks from its legacy verified users. Elon Musk announced last week that he planned on removing the verification badges from its 420,000 “notable” users on April 1.
Following the legacy verified badge removal, the only way to get the little blue checkmark next to your Twitter name is by coughing up $8 per month (or $11 per month via mobile device) to Musk.
However, many of the platform’s most famous users have already made their intentions clear: They’re not paying.
“Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. ??♂️” tweeted NBA star LeBron James.
William Shatner also tweeted that he was a no go for the move to Twitter Blue.
“Hey @elonmusk what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter?,” tweeted actor William Shatner. “I’ve been here for 15 years giving my ⏰ & witty thoughts all for bupkis. Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this-the Colombia Records & Tape Club??”
And it’s not just professional athletes and Hollywood actors sharing this sentiment either.
According to Axios, The White House will also not be paying for Twitter Blue subscriptions. An internal staff email leaked to the outlet shared that the Joe Biden administration sees this change on Twitter as diminishing the value of the blue verification badge.
“It is our understanding that Twitter Blue does not provide person-level verification as a service. Thus, a blue check mark will now simply serve as a verification that the account is a paid user,” said White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty in that email.
Although, it does appear that official government accounts like the @WhiteHouse handle and @JoeBiden will still have the grey verification badge that Musk rolled out to denote a “government” account. These badges do not cost those users any money.
Major news outlets also shared that they would not be purchasing Twitter Blue at the organization level or for individuals journalists and staffers. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, POLITICO, Vox, and BuzzFeed all shared statements declaring that they would not be paying for Twitter Blue. Each outlet said how the service changes the meaning of the badge and no longer designates an actually verified user on the platform.
Actor Karl Urban chimed in on the matter as well, saying he’s not paying for the Twitter Blue service.
“Hey y’all, I’ll loose the blue tick on Saturday,” Urban tweeted. “I’m opposed to spending money on social media. I’ll go checkless. Please be careful of Imposters & money soliciting scams. I will never ask you for money on any social media platform.”
Jason Alexander of Seinfeld fame not only said he wouldn’t be paying for the blue checkmark, but he indicated that he would no longer be using the platform either.
“Friends, there are bigger issues in the ?than the blue verified ✔️next to my name on this account,” Alexander tweeted. “But without it, anyone can allege to be me. So, if I lose that ✔️ know I will leave this platform. Anyone appearing with it=an imposter. I tell you this while I’m still official.”
Numerous NFL players like Patrick Maholmes, Michael Thomas, and Darius Slay tweeted that they would not pay for the checkmark as well.
As TechCrunch points out, Twitter initially rolled out the free verification service in 2009 after it was sued by former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa after an account on the platform had impersonated him.
However, Musk has displayed his disdain for the verification program ever since taking the company over. After losing half of Twitter’s biggest advertisers when he acquired the platform, Musk rolled out the paid Twitter Blue subscription service. For just $8, anyone could be verified. However, that anyone included numerous accounts impersonating big brand names and companies. Soon after launch, Twitter had to pause the program due to these troll accounts.
Twitter Blue was relaunched earlier this year, but it’s not been very successful. Less than 500,000 users out of Twitter’s 254 million daily active users pay for the service. Recent data on the program found that around half of all those paying were accounts with less than 1,000 followers. And recent screenshots indicate that Twitter is worried that the paid verification badge is becoming a mark of shame, as the company tests out options to allow paying users to hide it.
Source Link : Twitter's Biggest Users Say They Won't Be Paying For Twitter Blue Checkmarks