William Shatner, Monica Lewinsky and other Twitter figures, some well-known and obscure journalists, may quickly lose the blue badges that prove their support on the social media platform.
Users can get the features by paying up to $11 a month. But some longtime users, like Shatner, the 92-year-old Star Trek legend, have resisted buying the premium service promoted by billionaire Elon Musk, owner and CEO of Twitter.
After months of delay, Musk happily promises that Saturday is the deadline for celebrities, journalists and other verified users to pay or lose their legacy.
“It’s going to be glorious,” he tweeted Monday, responding to a Twitter user who pointed out that Saturday is also April Fool’s Day.
After buying Twitter for $44 billion in October, Musk tried to boost the platform’s revenue by forcing more people to pay subscription bonuses. But his actions also speak to his claim that blue stamps have become a symbol of undeserved or “corrupt” status for select personalities and journalists.
Along with celebrity verification, one of Twitter’s free account verification accounts for about 14 years has been authentic for politicians, activists, and journalists to check misinformation from account imposters.
Lewinsky said on Sunday that she had a “shot” of all the people raving about her, even those who at least seem to have given her a blue tick.
Shatner, known for his irreverent humor, also tagged Musk with a complaint about the promised changes.
“Here for 15 years I gave my (watch emoji) and funny thoughts for nothing,” he wrote. “Now you’re telling me to give you something for free that you gave me?”
Musk replied that there shouldn’t be any other type of celebrity. “More about treating everyone equally,” Musk tweeted.
For now, those who still have the blue character but apparently haven’t paid the premium fee, including Beyoncé, Stephen King, Barack and Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Tucker Carlson, Drake, and Musk himself have messages attached to their profiles that say “verify legacy – reason”. It may or may not be significant.”