Twitter withdraws the blue ticks: from today only those who pay will have them

What do the Pope, Donald Trump and Beyoncé have in common? All three today lost their blue ticks on Twitter, once a symbol of credibility, as the platform implemented Elon Musk’s threat and removed the badge from those who refuse to pay. The social network was rapidly changing its look as accounts lost their distinctiveness, which in the past was achieved after verifying the user’s identity and under certain conditions, including notoriety. The badge disappeared from the accounts of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Gates and Lady Gaga, as well as those of many journalists, teachers and activists. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s @jack account has also been deleted. On the political side, many elected officials have also lost their accounts, but some have obtained the gray check, reserved for government accounts or certain organizations. This is the case of Kevin McCarthy, the head of the Republican deputies.

The blue mark now identifies users who pay eight dollars a month for this distinction and other benefits (higher visibility, technical privileges, less advertising), such as Donald Trump Junior or the Dalai Lama. “I know I will be judged because I have a blue check, but I need the button to edit my tweets,” tweeted Marques Brownlee, a content creator with a following of 6 million users. “Twitter verified,” the paid subscription account for “Twitter Blue,” warned yesterday that the social network would remove the blue badges it obtained before Elon Musk bought the company in late October and enforced his vision on the contrary to the previous philosophy.

“To stay authenticated on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue here,” the official account said. The date was not chosen by chance: April 20, written 4/20 in English, is synonymous with cannabis in the United States. And the boss of Tesla and SpaceX is so fond of making jokes on the subject that he bought the platform for $54.20 a share. The multi-billionaire had to go back and forth on the launch of Twitter Blue, causing confusion. In November he declared that he wanted to “give more power to the people” and abolish “the current system of lords and peasants, between those with a blue check and those who don’t”. The subscription should, he says, help fight fake profiles and rogue accounts, as well as diversify income, but many advertisers have abandoned the platform.

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