Celebrities not ready to pay Elon Musk $8 for Twitter blue tick

Celebrities not ready to pay Elon Musk $8 for Twitter blue tick

LeBron James, the highest-paid NBA player of all time said, "Guess my blue check mark will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain't paying the 5."

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, April 03, 2023, 10:14 AM IST
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Celebrities not ready to pay Elon Musk $8 for Twitter blue tick |

Twitter launched its verification system in 2009 to protect celebrities from impersonation but now, Elon Musk wants everyone to pay for the Blue badge, and the move has not gone well with several celebrities on the platform.

Musk now wants everyone to pay $8 a month (₹900 in India a month) for verified blue tick.

The White House and The New York Times have already refused to pay for verified Blue with subscription service. LeBron James, the highest-paid NBA player of all time and earning over $40 million per year, refused to pay Twitter. "Guess my blue check mark will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain't paying the 5," he posted on the platform.

Actor William Shatner tweeted at Musk: "Now you're telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free?"

Michael Thomas, a wide receiver for the NFL's New Orleans Saints, posted: "Don't nobody want that raggedy blue check no way anymore".

Activist-lawyer Monica Lewinsky posted a set of screenshots showing several Twitter accounts impersonating her. "Well this is going to be fun. In what universe is this fair to people who can suffer consequences for being impersonated? A lie travels halfway around the world before truth even gets out the door", she posted.

Meanwhile, Twitter has already removed the blue badge of The New York Times, barely a week after he announced a new policy for keeping verification badges.

The selling of check marks also has the potential to minimize the voices of users who don't subscribe. Twitter was once viewed as a public forum where anyone could have their voice heard, and Musk has championed the platform as a bulwark against censorship.

But if Twitter is a public space, "Why would you have a price for admission?" said Rick Smith, host of political podcast The Rick Smith Show. "Why would you say, well, if you pay me the eight bucks we're going to promote what you have to say over everyone else?"

Smith, who has more than 2,80,000 followers, was verified under the legacy process, but said he won't pay for Twitter Blue to keep his check mark. "There's no way you're going to get me to pay Elon a dime," he said. His podcast team is already exploring upstart alternatives such as Post and Mastodon in case users flee Twitter, he said. "That blue check used to mean something," said Smith. "Now it's just an emoji on your name."

Twitter blue badge existed before Musk took over but offered more limited features, such as the ability to edit tweets or change the design of the app icon. Now a blue tick subscription includes access to text-message-based authentication, tweets up to 4,000 characters and half as many ads. In order to be verified, in addition to buying Twitter blue badge, users need an active account with a verified phone number, display name and profile photo.

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