(CTN News) – Many of Twitter’s blue tick recipients protested the reinstatement of blue ticks on some media, celebrity, and other high profile accounts on Saturday.
Twitter has announced that blue ticks, once a free sign of authenticity and fame, are now available only to subscribers for a monthly subscription fee of $8.
The blue tick that had been displayed on non-paying accounts was removed on Thursday as owner Elon Musk implemented a new revenue-generating strategy dubbed “Twitter Blue”.
The percentage of blue-ticked profiles that subscribed is estimated to be less than 5 percent, according to Travis Brown, a Berlin-based software developer who tracks social media platforms.
Nevertheless, 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, without any further action on their part.
On Friday, Musk tweeted that he was “paying for a few (subscriptions) myself.”
According to Lil Nas X, whose profile displays the blue tick, “on my soul, I did not purchase the blue tick for Twitter. You will feel my wrath, Tesla!”
Blue ticks were also awarded to the accounts of some deceased celebrities, such as American chef Anthony Bourdain.
Twitter Blue has reinstated a tick for many official media accounts, including AFP, which had been banned from the service.
After Musk accused the New York Times of being propaganda, the paper regained its gold badge this month.
Besides the Times, there is a gold tick reserved for “official business accounts” paying at least $1,000 per month.
Despite the reinstated ticks, US public radio NPR and Canada’s public broadcaster CBC have not reactivated their accounts and have not resumed tweeting as of Sunday.
It was broadcasters who protested Twitter’s “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” labels, which were previously reserved for non-independent media funded by autocratic governments.
In addition to these labels, Twitter removed those applied to Xinhua, the official news agency of China, and RT, the official news agency of Russia on Friday.
No isn’t a word
As the badge became a symbol of Musk’s support, many who voluntarily gained blue ticks made it clear that they had not subscribed.
In a tweet posted on Saturday, tech journalist Kara Swisher said, “No means no, boys.” She claimed she had been awarded the blue tick without her consent.
It is important for curious minds to know: Does Elon love me for me or for my 1.49 million followers?” she added, two hours after pledging not to pay “$8/month for blue check and meh features.”
In a tweet posted Saturday, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which was also bestowed with a blue tick, stated, “We are not a subscriber to Twitter Blue.”
The Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who last July mocked Musk for his “poor impulse control,” said on Saturday: “So my blue check reappears. I had nothing to do with it, and I will not be paying.”
In response, the Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX CEO posted an image of a baby smeared with tomato sauce, crying over his pasta plate while wearing a bib with a blue tick superimposed on it.
How many followers required for blue tick on Twitter?