Elon Musk says he’s paying for 3 celebrities’ blue checkmarks on Twitter

Twitter’s iconic blue checkmarks began disappearing this week when the company fully moved over to its new subscription service called Twitter Blue. Now, users have to pay $8 per month to keep their verification, but three celebrities were able to keep those checks without forking over cash – because Musk says he’s paying for them.

On Thursday, author Stephen King noticed his check mark was still on his account, despite promises from Twitter that all checkmarks would be removed if users aren’t paying for the subscription.

“My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t,” King tweeted.

Musk replied to his tweet: “You’re welcome namaste.”

He’s not the only celebrity who kept the check without subscribing. Last month, LeBron James announced he would not be paying for the check. But this week, it remains and Musk claims this was his doing.

The pop culture site Pop Base tweeted that Musk was personally paying for some celebrities’ Twitter Blue subscriptions. He replied: “Just Shatner, LeBron and King.”

In an earlier tweet, Shatner let Musk know he accepts the blue check. Musk went on a tweeting spree on Thursday but did not elaborate on why he chose those three celebrities to keep their blue checks.

Many high-profile Twitter pages that were once verified are no longer, after many refused to pay for the Twitter Blue subscription. The subscription also allows users to write longer tweets and edit them.

Avid Twitter user Dionne Warwick called the new verification system an “absolute mess.” She joked that the $8 would instead go toward her “extra hot lattes.”

Some celebrities, however, appeared to have paid for the checkmarks, like Taylor Swift and Rihanna.

Chrissy Teigen joked about her and husband John Legend losing the checks. “going to bed tonight with my checkmark husband, knowing it will all be over by morning,” she tweeted.

Ice-T implied he would not pay for the blue checkmark, and still had it as of Friday morning.

Twitter also began labeling some organizations’ Twitter pages: Gold checks for official businesses or corporations, gray for government organizations and officials, an affiliation badge for accounts connected to an organization on Twitter, and a badge for state-run media entities and individuals who are part of those entities.

But after many companies like NPR said they were mislabeled as government-funded or state-affiliated (NPR is a publicly-funded media organization), the company started stripping those badges.

President Joe Biden and other government officials has an automatic gray check “because it is a government or multilateral organization account,” Twitter explains. Companies like Musks’ SpaceX have gold checks because they are official organizations on Twitter.

Blue checks go to people who “are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number,” Twitter says. That is, unless you are Shatner, James or King.

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