Home Tech Dismay as X’s most-followed accounts given blue ticks for free

Dismay as X’s most-followed accounts given blue ticks for free

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Dismay as X’s most-followed accounts given blue ticks for free

Elon Musk has reversed one of his most infamous decisions since taking over

The entrepreneur and former “Chief Twit” had that tweeted last week that the service would grant free “premium” status to any user with more than 2,500 “verified subscriber followings” and that accounts with more than 5,000 would receive “premium+.” That policy is now being implemented.

The two paid service levels offer a number of benefits. The cheaper gives users fewer ads and more prominent placement in the site’s algorithmic management, and the more expensive adds access to X’s “anti-woke” AI chatbot Grok, zero ads, and even greater priority for replies.

But both are best known for the public benefit of a blue check mark next to the user’s profile. That checkmark, still known on the site as “verification,” was once reserved for prominent users who had proven their identity, but under Musk was opened to any subscriber to the paid tier of the service, then known as Twitter Blue.

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In an effort to boost Blue subscriptions, Musk’s company started removing “legacy” checkboxes this time last year. The hope was that the site’s most prominent and dedicated users would sign up for the paid service instead, increasing sales and the credibility of a premium account. Instead, in many communities, this measure has had a negative impact on the social status of those with verification: in the absence of highly ranked users with visible check marks, the sign became a scarlet – or more accurately, cyan – letter that marked users as people who wanted to buy respect.

The problem became so bad that in August the new name X introduced the ability to hide check marks completely, in an effort to encourage users to subscribe to its other features. Now, however, the company has taken the opposite approach: As the ‘free’ checkmarks are rolled out, users who had never paid before are expressing their dismay at their new status.

“Shit. I have been forcibly blue-checked,” wrote Marcy Wheeler, a journalist. The That’s what regular writer Lauren Goode said: “My blue check is back and I just want to make it clear that I don’t thank El*n M*sk very much for this.”

It is not clear how many blue checks were awarded, nor how many were unwanted. As has been policy at the social network since Musk took over, X did not respond to a request for comment.

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