Last night, Elon Musk made good on his promise to remove blue checkmarks from the platform’s most well-known users unless they paid the new $8 per month fee. Musk originally announced the plan to stop verifying accounts for non-paid subscribers last November, sparking pledges from the elite users to refuse.
Previously, blue checks signaled to the world that you had arrived. Celebrities, sports stars, politicians, and experts reveled in their privileged status and increased exposure bestowed by the Twitter gods. Lesser, checkmark-less users with equal or larger followings and those with unfavored opinions complained bitterly.
Musk, who bought the platform for $44 billion, announced that Thursday would be the last day of the free blue check’s privileged status, and shortly after his SpaceX Starship’s spectacular flame-out, he made good.
Among the unceremoniously de-checked, elite users with tens of millions of followers were Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Cristiano Ronaldo. Others, such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, still had blue checks, despite promising never to pay the subscription fee.
“My blue tick has gone.” tweeted comedian Ricky Gervais. I’m not sure if I’m really me or not.”
Grammy award-winning producer, Finneas O’Connell tweeted, “FINALLY got rid of the blue check.”
LeBron James, who insists he is not, and never will pay, still had a blue check hours after the change.
Some journalists, changed their profile heading to an image of their former, beloved blue check.
Actor Jason Alexander, formerly of Seinfeld, pledged to leave the platform if Musk takes his blue check away. ‘This was supposed to be the summer of George,’ he could have commented. ‘The summer of George.’