Celebs weren’t buying Twitter’s checkmarks so Elon just gave it back to them

If you thought Twitter’s blue tick saga couldn’t get any weirder, prepare to be surprised. A little after deletion blue ticks from users who didn’t subscribe to Twitter Blue at $8 a month, some celebrities got their ticks back without paying or asking for them.

At first, it looked like Elon Musk, CEO and owner of Twitter, had it’s done out of sheer malice. But now, virtually every celebrity with a sizable following has gotten their mark back.

And it’s not because they paid for it. In fact, Twitter Blue’s follower count grew very little after the ticks were purged, and many Twitter users who got their ticks back commented(opens in a new tab) that he arrived(opens in a new tab) without that they pay(opens in a new tab).

Musk previously said he personally paid(opens in a new tab) for the blue ticks of William Shatner, LeBron James and Stephen King, but he hasn’t commented on all the other ticks that have since reappeared.

It should be noted that Musk originally said(opens in a new tab) that Twitter’s old tick system was inaccurate because ticks were “often” distributed “arbitrarily”, which was one of the reasons he gave for tying the tick to a Twitter Blue subscription.

Right now, however, the system seems more arbitrary than ever. Some accounts got the tick and some didn’t, and it seems the main criteria is the number of followers. Mashable’s Matt Binder, who is among those who picked up the check mark without subscribing to Twitter Blue, says he’s now automatically subscribed to Twitter Blue without being able to cancel plan(opens in a new tab)and the same thing happened to writer Neil Gaiman.

This could lead to legal issues for Twitter. As a single user underline(opens in a new tab), linking someone’s identity to a product or service without their consent can be considered a false endorsement. Popular Twitter account @drill(opens in a new tab)owned by Los Angeles writer Paul Dochney, commented that Musk can I have(opens in a new tab) “fired the people responsible for telling him it was illegal”, alluding to the huge layoffs Twitter employees under Musk’s tenure. Incidentally @dril was among the accounts who got the tick without paying for Twitter Blue, though his tick was quickly removed and gone at the time of writing.

The issues with associating the blue tick with a paid subscription tier were fairly obvious and pointed out (including by Mashable) before the new system (which was hastily changed a few times already) has been implemented. But it seems the main problem is that a verification system that relies on people paying for it breaks down very quickly if the majority of those people simply refuse to pay for it.

Leave a Comment