Musk Paying for Blue Checkmarks for LeBron, Stephen King

But not the Pope, 'NY Times'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2023 1:40 AM CDT
Updated Apr 21, 2023 5:06 AM CDT
Even the Pope Has Now Lost His Blue Checkmark
FILE - A sign at Twitter headquarters is shown in San Francisco, Dec. 8, 2022.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Twitter's original blue checkmarks were first said to be going away starting April 1, but after that date came and went with little movement on the blue check front, Elon Musk gave April 20 as the new date. And, indeed, quite a few big names said goodbye to their blue checkmarks Thursday, NBC News reports; even the pope was not immune. Celebrities, reporters, and politicians were also among those who said goodbye to their checkmarks, though some noted there were apparent discrepancies between which checkmarks were stripped and which remained: "Tucker Carlson has a blue check. So does Sean Hannity and Elon Musk. The NAACP and NY Times don’t. I’m more than good being one of the latter," a blue check-less Dan Rather noted.

While clicking on the blue checkmarks now leads to a message that says, "This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number," it's not clear that is true for everyone. Musk on Thursday revealed he's personally paying for the Twitter Blue verified accounts of some people, and when Stephen King tweeted to clarify that he had not paid for the blue checkmark his account still sports, Musk replied, "You're welcome namaste." Sources tell the Washington Post that the site could experience disruptions as the switch from the old checkmark system to the new one takes place; changes to the site have resulted in site outages multiple times recently. (More Twitter stories.)

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