From Valued Verification to Purchasable Prestige: Elon Musk and the Blue Checkmark Controversy on X

Twitter reintroduces blue check marks to some discontent.

Elon Musk has announced that users with a high number of verified followers will receive free Premium and Premium Plus benefits. However, not all users are happy with this news. On Wednesday, several X users expressed their dissatisfaction with seeing the blue checkmark next to their handles despite not having paid for these subscriptions.

Last week, Musk stated that users with over 2,500 paying followers would be granted free Premium access, which includes reduced ads and other advantages. Those with more than 5,000 such followers would be given free Premium Plus, a higher-cost tier that eliminates ads, among other benefits. The blue checkmark was once a coveted symbol of status awarded to verified high-profile users such as journalists, celebrities, politicians, and official agencies.

After Musk assumed control in 2022, users’ blue checkmarks vanished and were made available for purchase by anyone. This shift made it more difficult for users to identify authentic accounts, leading to the proliferation of misinformation on X under Musk’s management. Wednesday’s return of the free blue checkmark sparked a series of jokes on the platform. Some users who received the badge have posted proof that it is not only being given to verified individuals. Several users defended themselves by stating they did not pay for the badge.

While some journalists are thrilled with their new status, others are relieved that they haven’t received a blue checkmark yet. However, some people are excited about their new badge. A user expressed their desire to have it removed. Despite this controversy, many users appreciate the changes Musk has brought to the platform and hope that it continues to evolve in the future.

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