Verified, Denied: Elon Musk Handpicks Twitter Blue Check Recipients, Leaves Trump, Bill Gates And Others In The Dust

Elon Musk’s Twitter 2.0 have started taking away users’ legacy blue verified checkmark, but for some, the tech billionaire paid “personally” — and former U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis are not on the list. 

What Happened: Musk started winding up Twitter’s verification program on Thursday. While removing the coveted blue checkmarks that have stayed in existence for over a decade itself started a meme fest on the platform, Musk’s announcement that he paid for a few accounts “personally” — well, that was just the cherry on top. 

See Also: Elon Musk Accuses Microsoft Of Twitter Data Mining: ‘Lawsuit Time’

LeBron James and Stephen King have vehemently opposed paying Twitter to get blue checkmarks and have both been awarded the Twitter Blue subscription, whether they like it or not. 

James, the highest-paid NBA player of all time, previously took to Twitter to say that he won’t pay Musk for the verified mark. Now he has a blue checkmark that says, “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

Similarly, popular author King, who is partially responsible for Musk making users pay $20 instead of $8, is now a Twitter Blue subscriber. When he retorted by saying he hadn’t subscribed or given the company his phone number, Musk replied with a cheeky tweet. 

However, Musk’s generosity didn’t run indefinitely. 

Former U.S. President Trump, Pope Francis, Cristiano Ronaldo, American rapper Shawn Corey Carter (professionally known as Jay-Z), Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates are among the millions of other users who lost their legacy verified checkmark. 

In contrast, Taylor Swift and Rihanna are among the people who are paying Musk $8 per month to keep their blue checkmarks

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