Elon Musk Does Stephen King a Favor He Doesn’t Appreciate

April 21, 2023
2 mins read
Elon Musk Does Stephen King a Favor He Doesn't Appreciate
Sergei Elagin / Shutterstock.com

The author appears not to be impressed.

The time for the long-anticipated removal of legacy Twitter Blue accounts has arrived.

The implementation of the new set of rules, however, was not without controversy.

DON’T MISS: Elon Musk Has Big News About Twitter 

Twitter owner and CEO Elon Musk dismissed all legacy Twitter Blue accounts for users who haven’t chosen to pay for them, with the exception of three: William Shatner, LeBron James and Stephen King.

Musk, who also owns electric vehicle company Tesla  (TSLA) – Get Free Report, said in a tweet that he is personally paying for those accounts’ blue checks.

Twitter users whose accounts still carried the Twitter Blue checkmark saw a message saying, “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

King apparently saw that message and wrote a tweet clarifying that he hadn’t subscribed and hadn’t given Twitter his phone number.

King’s initial reaction to Twitter’s announcement that it would begin charging for Twitter Blue was captured in an October 31, 2022 tweet where he expressed dissatisfaction with the idea.

The blue checkmark that designated a user’s account is verified was free under Twitter until Musk took over in October 2022.

Musk decided to charge for it by integrating the blue badge into Twitter Blue, the platform’s subscription service, which he reworked in an effort to build revenue.

Blue costs $7.99 per month if a user subscribes on the internet and $11 per month if they do so using the Apple  (AAPL) – Get Free Report App Store, for example.

When he decided to charge for the checkmark, Musk said he would grant a grace period to users with the legacy blue badges.

“On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks,” Twitter had said March 23.

Musk had also previously said that accounts would have to be verified to appear in the microblogging site’s “For You” section, which is a collection of tweets a user can see when logging in.

“Starting April 15th, only verified accounts will be eligible to be in For You recommendations,” Musk wrote. “That is the only realistic way to address advanced AI bot swarms taking over. It is otherwise a hopeless losing battle. Voting in polls will require verification for the same reason.”

But after a number of complaints, Musk changed that policy March 28.

“Forgot to mention that accounts you follow directly will also be in For You, since you have explicitly asked for them,” he tweeted.

The “For You” section surfaces posts for users that Twitter calculates will be of interest, based on their user behavior.

“The removal of the check marks is the latest step by Musk to remake Twitter since he bought it in October for $44 billion, casting himself as the steward of an essential public forum while driving off some of the well-known people who used it,” wrote NBC News. “The move has already prompted fears that Twitter users will have one less tool to distinguish known sources from impersonators or hoaxes.”

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