Monica Lewinsky, Celebs on Twitter Elon Musk Over Blue Check Pay Plan William Shatner, Monica Lewinsky and Other Prolific Twitter Commenters Some Household Names Other little-known journalists may soon lose the blue check mark that helps verify their identities.
They can earn points back by paying up to $11 per month. But some older users, including 92-year-old Star Trek legend Shatner, have declined to buy the premium service backed by Twitter’s billionaire owner and chief executive Elon Musk.
After months of delays, Musk is happily promising that Saturday is the deadline for celebrities, journalists and others who have been verified free of charge or lost their legacy status. “That would be awesome,” he tweeted on Monday in response to a Twitter user who noted that Saturday is also April Fools’ Day.
Since buying Twitter in October for $44 billion, Musk has been trying to boost the struggling platform’s revenue by getting more people to pay for premium subscriptions. But his move also reflects his claim that the blue verification mark has become a disqualifying or “corrupt” status symbol for celebrities and news reporters.
As well as verifying celebrities, about 14 years ago Twitter started marking profiles with a free blue check mark, one of the main reasons to verify politicians, activists and people who suddenly find themselves As well as little-known journalists in smaller publications around. world, as an additional tool to prevent misinformation coming from accounts impersonating people.
Lewinsky tweeted a screenshot on Sunday of everyone impersonating at least one person who had paid for the blue check mark. He asked, “What universe is this fair to those who can bear the consequences of being impersonated? A lie goes half the world before the truth is out the door.”
Known for his irreverent humor, Shatner also tagged Musk with a complaint about the promised changes. “I’m here for 15 years giving my (clock emoji) more witty thoughts,” he wrote. “Now you’re telling me I have to pay for something you gave me for free?”
Elon Musk replied that there shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities. It’s more about treating everyone equally, Musk tweeted.
For now, those who still have blue checks but apparently haven’t paid the premium fee, including Beyoncé, Stephen King, Barack and Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Tucker Carlson, Drake and Musk, have their Message profiles. This is a “legacy verified account. It may or may not be notable.”
But while “celebrities attract a fair amount of attention because of our culture,” the bigger concern for open government advocate Alex Howard, director of the Digital Democracy Project, is that impersonators can easily spread rumors and conspiracies that move the markets. Can harm or lead to democracy.
“The reason verification exists on this platform is not just to designate people as reputable or authorities, but also to prevent impersonation,” Howard said.
But it was quickly inundated with fake accounts, including those impersonating Nintendo, pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Musk’s businesses Tesla and SpaceX, so Twitter had to temporarily suspend the service a few days after launch.
The relaunched service costs $8 per month for web users and $11 per month for iPhone and iPad users. Members are expected to see fewer ads, post longer videos and have their Tweets featured more prominently.