When tech entrepreneur Elon Musk purchased Twitter in a historic deal in 2022, the 51-year-old swooped in with a variety of major changes. One being that he would be eliminating blue checks from the platform, unless users agreed to pay $8 per month to keep the verified identifier.
The transition became effective yesterday (April 20). Since then, NBC News has confirmed major celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian and even Beyoncé no longer have blue checks on their Twitter profiles. Other high profile individuals include multiple network television reporters, Bill Gates and Pope Francis. This has prompted an ongoing debate on social media regarding the topic.
Some have accused Musk of starting the monthly fee out of pure greed since he is already one of the wealthiest people on the planet. Others commended him for that exact reason: “Elon Musk is a businessman, a smart one. Bought Twitter for 40B dollars. Came up with an idea of people paying monthly to get/stay verified, took back every celebrity verification, meaning they either pay for it or stay without it. That’s business.” Others believe the loss of verification can lead to mass misinformation if anyone can purchase it. Recently, when Musk introduced the paid blue subscriptions, scores of verified fake profiles appeared online.
One tweet from today (April 21) claimed celebrities may be leery of the new rules because they “know that some of their fans will be misled, possibly defrauded, and that they may be defamed.” Musk responded, “We’ve started a ‘save-a-celebrity fund’ to pay their $8. We take this matter very seriously.” It wasn’t clear if the South African native was being sarcastic or not. NBC News added that Musk is paying for the verification of actor William Shatner and NBA star LeBron James — the latter of which has spoken out against the platform and its policies.
See what others are saying below.