- Joe Kleinman
- Technical teacher
The company responsible for the platform Twitter gave some of its accounts with more than a million followers a blue check mark without those accounts paying for the subscription.
Accounts returned by Blue Dick include those of Beyoncé, Harry Kane, Richard Osman and Victoria Beckham.
The BBC News Twitter account also got its gold badge back, but it didn’t pay.
Before Elon Musk bought the site, the blue tick symbol of account verification was provided free by Twitter.
It was originally used as an account verification method, designed to help prevent fake accounts and the spread of misinformation.
Now the account is a sign of subscription to a premium service called Twitter Blue – and there’s a verification process associated with payment. Prices vary depending on where the subscription is made, but it’s $8 a month.
Those with a blue tick from the original verification process who decided not to pay the entry fee began losing that blue tick on April 20.
British broadcaster James O’Brien, who has 1.1 million followers on his account, is one of those who regained his blue tick after losing it. He confirmed that he had not paid into his account to redeem it.
He also noted that some accounts with less than a million followers have regained their blue identity, which was “totally wiped out by Elon Musk’s decision.”
Eliot Higgins, founder of the investigative organization Bellinggate, confirmed to me on Friday that Blue Label and the Bellinggate verification mark were given to him for free.
Musk said he paid the subscription fees himself on behalf of author Stephen King, actor William Shatner and basketball player LeBron James, all of whom have criticized the subscription program for the brand.
At the time of writing, some celebrities such as actor Ryan Reynolds, who owns Wrexham Football Club, keep their accounts without a blue tick, even though Reynolds has more than 21 million followers.
It has been reported that manual removal of blue ticks is necessary and hence this may be a manual process that will continue in the coming days.
Twitter Blue suffered from a complicated launch process. Initially delayed after fake accounts appeared as official entities, in recent weeks subscriber accounts and previously verified accounts have remained the same.
Subscribers’ tweets get more exposure, the longer the post, and the less ads subscribers see.
Elon Musk had previously said that when the company was bought, the company’s finances were in dire straits and Twitter was running at a loss of $4 million per day.
Twitter has yet to disclose how many people have opted in, but app company Sensor Tower estimated to TechCrunch that the platform will have around 386,000 subscribers by March 2023.
This number doesn’t include subscriptions made to Twitter and its app itself, but it’s still a small fraction of its 300 million user base.
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