At the behest of Twitter CEO Elon Musk, the social media platform finally removed the “legacy verified” marks on celebrity profiles, with users now needing to pay a monthly fee in order to be “verified”.
Critics of the change have argued that the move will make it far easier for misinformation to spread, with users now unable to tell whether or not a celebrity account is legitimate.
When, late on Thursday (20 April), the “blue ticks” began disappearing from users’ profiles, those who had previously been “verified” started mocking the transition.
“My blue tick has gone. I’m not sure if I’m really me or not,” wrote Gervais, alongside a photograph of his face gurning in the bathtub.
Osman, star of Pointless and a bestselling novellist, wrote: “Farewell blue tick, old friend.
“Don’t forget, always set your feed to ‘Following’ rather than ‘For You’. Then you’ll keep seeing the people you actually follow, and not people who’ve paid for attention.”
My blue tick has gone.
I’m not sure if I’m really me or not. pic.twitter.com/6ghPgfUSfX
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 20, 2023
Musk revealed that he is personally paying for three celebrities – basketball star LeBron James, actor William Shatner, and writer Stephen King – to subscribe to Twitter Blue. All three had previously signalled their intent not to pay.
Making this clear to followers, King wrote: “ My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.
“Just so you know.”
Ice T, meanwhile, wrote: “The fact that we’re even discussing Blue Check marks is a Sad moment in society. Smh lol.”
While celebrities not longer have “blue ticks”, government organisations will remain verified, as will state-affiliated representatives, companies, or media entities.