Twitter is about to conduct a full sweep of users’ free blue checks including big-name public figures and celebrities.
On March 23, Twitter Verified announced its new process in regard to users being verified on the platform.
“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks,” the account tweeted.
“Any individual person’s Twitter account affiliated with a verified organization is automatically verified,” Twitter CEO Elon Musk added.
Prior to the update, Twitter gave out blue checkmarks to accounts that were authentic, notable, and in the public interest. The likes of celebrities, officials, journalists, and more were verified through the program. In December 2022, Musk described the former process as “corrupt and nonsensical,” in a tweet.
In a few months, we will remove all legacy blue checks. The way in which they were given out was corrupt and nonsensical.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 12, 2022
With Musk’s new leadership, to keep a blue checkmark, the platform now requires Twitter users to sign up for Twitter Blue, which costs $8 per month.
Following the news, LeBron James was one of many people online voicing their thoughts on the change.
“Welp guess my blue [check] will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” James wrote in a tweet.
Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. 🤷🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 31, 2023
James is far from alone among Twitter users who are indifferent to keeping their blue checkmark. Many online have angrily called out Musk for turning the verification process into a pay scheme.
While individuals are to pay $8 a month for a blue checkmark, the price for businesses and organizations is much steeper.
The New York Times reports that groups, including nonprofits and governments, will be charged $1,000 per month. However, Twitter is set to waive the fee for its 500 largest advertising clients and the 10,000 most-followed brands, companies, and organizations that have been previously verified.