Are blue checks back? Musk restores symbols on X for ‘influential’ users

All accounts with more than 2,500 verified subscribers will get Premium features for free, while Premium Plus benefits will be given to accounts with more than 5,000 verified subscribers.

Free blue checks appear to be back on X, formerly known as Twitter, months after X owner Elon Musk chucked them in favor of a paid subscription model, according to The Washington Post.

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The coveted verification symbol returned to certain accounts on Thursday, with the criteria appearing to be that accounts must have more than 2,500 verified subscribers.

According to a statement from Musk last week, all accounts with more than 2,500 verified subscribers will get Premium features for free, while Premium Plus benefits will be given to accounts with more than 5,000 verified subscribers.

The blue verification symbol was first introduced to show that an account was truly representing who it said it was, but when Musk purchased the company in 2022, he decided to sell the blue checkmark on a monthly subscription basis.

High-profile users who did not want to pay for the symbol were removed from X.

“We are removing legacy verified checkmarks,” the company said in a statement on last April., according to the Times. “To remain verified on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue.”

Twitter had about 300,000 verified users through the original verification blue check mark at the time.

Restoring the symbol to prominent accounts may help restore its value, Karen North, a professor of digital social media at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism told the Post.

“In a world where the celebrities and public figures refuse to pay for the check mark, then the verification loses its value,” she said. By restoring verification to famous and influential users, whether they like it or not, X increases the value of verification for those who pay for it.

“I think that Elon Musk has made a decision that there are two ways to get verified: One is to prove who you are and pay money, and the other is to earn it through popularity,” North added.

X’s official brand account and support account did not post about it, and there was no formal announcement about the symbol as of early Thursday.

However, some on the site were not too happy about it.

“What’s with the random blue check I didn’t ask for or pay for?” MSNBC host Katie Phang tweeted.

Attorney and political commentator Elie Mystal posted: “To be clear, even though Elon has forced the mark of the beast upon me, without consent or permission, I will still make fun of people who paid for blue checks.”

If a user does not want a blue check, X offers subscribers the ability to hide it, according to Forbes.

You can go to the account’s settings to hide it. According to the company, using some premium features could still give away your account’s status.

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