Elon Musk is yet again changing how verified checkmark prompts appear on Twitter.
This time, hovering over the Blue checkmark label no longer mentions Twitter Blue, the paid version of the social network. This move is seen as an attempt to reduce the humiliation and potential lawsuits from angry celebrities who received the blue checkmarks despite not paying for or verifying their phone numbers.
For reference, on April 20th, the day Musk got rid of legacy-verified Blue ticks, it was found that celebrities like LeBron James, Stephen King and rapper Ice T received Twitter’s paid verified checkmark. However, all three of them claimed to have not paid the subscription fee. It was revealed later on the same day that Musk was personally paying for Twiter Blue for some accounts on the platform.
Now, verified accounts on Twitter don’t read, “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.” Instead, hovering over the badge shows a prompt that reads, “This account is verified.”
Musk’s decision to give blue checkmarks to celebrities who had not paid for them or verified their phone numbers sparked outrage on Twitter. It led to the creation of the #BlockTheBlue campaign aimed at blocking users with paid blue checkmarks, with some legal experts suggesting that giving celebrities blue checkmarks without their consent could indicate “sponsorship or approval,” from Musk or Twitter.
The change in the prompt might be a way for Musk and Twitter to avoid further scrutiny, protect his paid users, and likely to avoid a lawsuit.
Despite the controversy surrounding the change, Musk appears unfazed. He continues to fight with media organizations on Twitter, threatening to give NPR’s Twitter handle to another company if it doesn’t start tweeting again. This move came after a weeks-long battle with Musk over media labels, which suggested the outlet was influenced by the U.S. government.
Image credit: Twitter