Twitter returns blue ticks to media outlets, celebrities

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Despite strong protest from recipients, Twitter has brought back blue verification ticks for some media, celebrity, and other high-profile accounts.

According to Twitter, blue ticks, which were originally a free indication of legitimacy and celebrity, must now be purchased by subscribers for $8 per month.

Elon Musk, the company’s owner, established a “Twitter Blue” strategy to generate new money last year, and non-paying accounts with a blue tick were terminated on Thursday as a result.

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According to Travis Brown, a Berlin-based software developer who monitors social-media platforms, only a small percentage of blue-checked users subscribed — less than 5% of the 407,000 profiles affected.

However, a number of celebrities, including author Stephen King, NBA champion LeBron James, and former US president Donald Trump, regained their blue ticks on Friday and Saturday, seemingly without their intervention.

Musk earlier tweeted that he was “paying for a few (subscriptions) personally.”

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American rapper Lil Nas X, whose profile features the blue tick, tweeted: “On my soul, I didn’t pay for Twitter blue, u will feel my wrath, tesla man!”

Some accounts of deceased celebrities, such as US chef Anthony Bourdain, were also given a blue tick.

Many official media accounts regained a tick, including AFP, which had not subscribed to Twitter Blue.

This month, the New York Times regained its gold badge after Musk called it “propaganda.”

The New York Times is one of the major media organisations that have a gold tick reserved for an “official business account” paying at least $1,000 per month.

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The reinstated ticks did not entice US public radio NPR or Canada’s public broadcaster CBC, which had recently suspended activity on their accounts and had not resumed tweeting as of Sunday.


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