Celebrities React to Twitter Removing the Blue Checkmark From Non-Twitter Blue Subscribers

  • Twitter removed the blue checkmark from non-Twitter Blue subscribers
  • Celebrities like LeBron James are having their checkmark paid for by Elon Musk
  • The rise of AI technology has made it easy to impersonate other people
  • Twitter has several other distinguishing features for verified accounts
Twitter checkmark on a phone with a "buy" button underneath
Twitter removed the blue checkmark from non-Twitter Blue accounts Thursday and birthed some hilarious responses. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A new era on Twitter

Twitter removed the iconic blue checkmark from legacy verified accounts that were not subscribed to Twitter Blue Thursday.

The Twitter account “Twitter Verified” confirmed the news Wednesday afternoon. The entire process has been a long time coming and prompted jokes from certain accounts and fear from others.

Amid the chaos of the “reset” of the legacy accounts that is leaving Twitter users unable to tell if they are looking at a verified source or an impostor, there were some tremendous reactions. There’s something poetic about finding beauty in madness, even if that madness is the removal of a small tick on an app owned by a Dogecoin-obsessed creator.

Responses to the change

Many of Twitter’s users were against the removal of the blue checkmark from legacy accounts because of the uncertainty it causes. Now, users can no longer tell if they are looking at a reputable source when scrolling their timelines. 

There is also worry that the new checkmark-less (for non-Twttier blue subscribers) world can work with the rise of AI to create further confusion. Deepfakes and other tools have been able to produce audio and video of people acting out pre-written scripts and look like actual footage of their real-life model. 

work with the rise of AI to create further confusion

One of the world’s biggest celebrities, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, said last month that he would not be subscribing to Twitter Blue to keep his verification (and misquoted the price, which is actually $8/month). So when LeBron’s account still had a checkmark next to it after the purge, many people were confused—and quite amused.

In a strange turn, Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner and CEO, soon confirmed that he was personally paying for the blue verification on celebrity accounts like LeBron, Stephen King, and others.

Musk’s “philanthropy” did not reach every celebrity, unfortunately, and some such as movie star Halle Berry were left reminiscing on the days when their accounts were graced by that cluster of blue pixels next to their name.

Rapper The Game also lost his checkmark, but not his craftsmanship with words and dropped a simple response to the change.

“Check gone but the checks still comin,” he said.

The future of the Twitter checkmark

Twitter had roughly 450 million active users in 2022, close to 400 million more than it had in 2010. It has become a melting pot for hot topics, social movements, news, sports, politics, opinions, music, and every other topic of conversation.

does not mean that there aren’t other distinctions

The removal of the checkmark from legacy accounts cements the fracture between the old regime (led by co-founder and ex-CEO Jack Dorsey) and the new. But just because the blue checkmark is available to anyone willing to pay $8 per month does not mean that there aren’t other distinctions. 

A gold checkmark, for example, next to a square avatar (profile picture) means that the page belongs to a business verified by Twitter Verified Organizations. Nike, Apple, and Amazon are all examples of accounts that are distinguished with a gold checkmark.

A gray checkmark means that the account belongs to a government multilateral organization or person. The White House and President Joe Biden are both graced by a gray checkmark on their pages.

There are also affiliation badges that can be attached to an account. These accounts have a small image of their affiliation on their page and can also have one of the three colors of checkmarks. Musk says these badges are to help reduce impersonation (an example of an affiliation badge is below).

Twitter is also testing automated account labels to help users identify if an account is run by a real person or a “bot.” These labels appear on account pages under profile names and avatars.

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