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Twitter checkmark chaos continues, with deceased celebrities and claims of fraud

Just when we thought the Twitter checkmark chaos was at an end, as Musk finally made good on his promise to remove them from legacy verified accounts, more U-turns have been made …

Twitter checkmark chaos

Musk had long said that all legacy verified Twitter accounts would lose their blue checkmarks if they didn’t subscribe to Twitter Blue. For a long time, nothing further happened, until Musk set a hard deadline of March 30. All verified accounts would lose their blue checkmark on that date if they didn’t subscribe to Twitter Blue. Companies were also told they had to pay a $1,000/month subscription or lose their gold checkmarks.

While he appeared to consider this a threat, which would persuade verified account holders and businesses to sign up, it appears that almost none did.

That deadline arrived, and … went. Nothing happened. Musk then set a new deadline of April 20. Again, however, I don’t know of a single verified account holder who signed up for Twitter Blue. Media organizations, too, said they wouldn’t be subscribing.

But this time, at least, he did make good on the declared policy, and almost all verified accounts lost their blue checkmark.

Almost all. Some high-profile accounts retained their blue checkmarks, despite confirming that they hadn’t subscribed to Twitter Blue. Musk subsequently admitted that he’d paid for these subscriptions personally.

More accounts get their blue checkmark back

More high-profile accounts got their blue checkmark back, with their owners again tweeting that they had not subscribed to Twitter Blue. Author Neil Gaiman was one of them.

As Engadget notes, one Twitter user suggested that labeling non-subscribers in this way was actually fraudulent, as false endorsement. Satirist @dril suggested the reason Musk hadn’t realized this.

Some media organizations also got their gold checkmark back, despite confirming that they hadn’t paid for it. Though the vetting doesn’t appear to have been very thorough, as it included a fake Disney account.

Deceased celebrities ‘subscribed to Twitter Blue’

That wasn’t all, however, as it appeared that Twitter was returning the blue checkmark to all accounts with more than a million subscribers – each bearing the claim that they had subscribed to Twitter Blue – including those who would have some, uh, difficulty in subscribing.

Additionally, accounts that once belonged to Chadwick BosemanKobe Bryant and Anthony Bourdain, celebrities who died long before Musk’s takeover of Twitter, were also reverified over the weekend. The same message appears if you click on any of the blue checks associated with those accounts. “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

Place your bets on the next episode of this popular reality show …

Photo: Jené Stephaniuk/Unsplash

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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