The prized blue checkmarks that used to set apart prominent Twitter commentators from online commoners have begun to disappear from the social media platform, as owner Elon Musk pushes forward with a plan to remove the verification tags for users who decline to pay a subscription fee.
The Twitter purge started on Thursday, as accounts that even boast millions of followers ranging from Pope Francis to professional celebrity Kim Kardashian to former President Donald Trump lost their blue badges.
The Twitter Blue subscription service is a way of treating everyone equally, he said. There shouldnt be a different standard for celebrities. Requiring users to pay for verification also may help eliminate spam and bot accounts.
Twitter said previously that it would begin removing legacy blue checkmarks from unsubscribed accounts on April 1.
The accounts of at least some government agencies and public entities, including US Citizenship and Immigration Services, do not yet have gray checks.
Musk has argued that under Twitters old verification program, blue checkmarks were granted through a corrupt and nonsensical system.
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