Twitter is has started getting rid of legacy blue checks for those who don’t pay up, except for a few high-profile users such as LeBron James.
For years, a blue checkmark has meant that Twitter had verified the identity of the user behind an account, and the icon was considered a status symbol.
But Mr. Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion in October, has now charged individuals $8 per month to maintain their verification status. Mr. Musk has said those who do not pay will lose their check marks.
According to The Verge, an employee at Twitter recently emailed James to extend a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue on behalf of Elon Musk. This move came despite James’ previous statement that he wouldn’t pay for verification. However, Musk said that he’s paying “a few” subscriptions personally, including for Stephen King and William Shatner.
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“We are removing legacy verified checkmarks,” Twitter said in a recent statement. “To remain verified on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue.”
Paying the subscription fee will come with other perks, including more prominent placement in conversations on Twitter, higher ranking on followers’ pages and more discoverability.
It remains to be seen how this move will be received by the Twitter community, and whether other high-profile users will be granted similar exemptions.