Elon Musk confirms all celebrities and ‘legacy verified’ accounts will be stripped of blue ticks – unless they pay for them

At the start of 2023, Twitter began rolling out a grey tick verification mark for government-related accounts, and a golden tick mark for companies.

The only way to keep the blue verification symbol is to sign up to the social media company’s “premium subscription service”.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that all celebrities, public figures, and other ‘legacy verified’ accounts are to be stripped of their blue tick next week.

There is a catch though – they’ll get to keep it if they pay for Twitter Blue.

The social media platform first introduced the now-famous ‘blue tick’ verification symbol all the way back in 2009 – which was about three years after the site was launched – so that individuals, businesses, organisations, and accounts of notability could prove their identity, reports The Manc.

But in recent months, after the highly-publicised takeover by multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, Twitter users will have likely noticed the colour of a lot of these verification symbols for certain official accounts changing from blue to grey/silver and gold.

At the start of 2023, Twitter began rolling out a grey tick verification mark for government-related accounts, and a golden tick mark for companies.

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that all ‘legacy verified’ accounts will lose their blue tick next week / Credit: Flickr

The classic ‘blue tick’, according to a statement on the Twitter website, was then left to mean that the account was either ‘legacy verified’ – with celebrities, public figures, notable people, and accounts verified prior to changes, falling under this category – or that the account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meets the platform’s eligibility requirements.

Twitter Blue is what the company calls its “premium subscription service” that adds a blue tick to the account of those pay for it, and, apparently, offers early access to select features.

Twitter first confirmed that, from the start of this month, it would be “winding down” its legacy verification program, and that accounts that were verified under the previous criteria will not retain a blue checkmark unless they are subscribed to Twitter Blue – but now, Elon Musk has announced the official cut-off date.

The South African-born entrepreneur took to Twitter last night to confirm that legacy blue ticks would be officially be removed on Thursday 20 April, if the accounts are not subscribed to and meet the criteria for Twitter Blue by then.

The 51-year-old has also today sat down for a last-minute interview with the BBC, after the corporation contacted the social media giant earlier this week to query the designation of the @BBC account as ‘government funded media’, asking Twitter to resolve the issue “as soon as possible”.

“The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee,” the broadcaster said in its statement.

Musk told BBC North America tech reporter, James Clayton, in his televised interview this morning that he doesn’t want Twitter to amplify “some anointed class of journalists” who determine what constitutes news, adding that he is “hopeful this can be more a case of the public choosing the narrative, as opposed to the media choosing the narrative.

The Twitter CEO confirmed they would be adjusting the label for the BBC to “publicly-funded”, as the company is “trying to be accurate”.

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He also told James Clayton that he actually does “have a lot of respect for the BBC,” and admitted that the interview was “a good opportunity to ask some questions” and “to get some feedback on what we should be doing different”.

Featured Image – Claudio Schwarz (via Unsplash)

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