Elon Musk admits to ‘personally’ paying for Stephen King’s and LeBron James’ Twitter Blue Ticks- but why?
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Twitter officially removed the unpaid ‘legacy’ blue checks from the platform on Thursday (April 21) resulting in millions of users losing their verification. This means that any users who still have a verification badge are paying for Twitter Blue, the premium version of the app and their profiles are labelled as subscribed to the service.
The purge had been a goal of Elon Musk’s since taking control of the company in October 2022. The controversial move has been met with much scrutiny, and many have refused to pay meaning some of the world’s most famous celebs have lost their verification.
The long list includes the likes of Beyonce, Jeremy Renner and more, but some celebrities who said they wouldn’t pay have retained their verification. However, LeBron James, Stephen King and William Shatner have noticeably kept their blue tick. The three celebrities have each personally had run-ins with musk on Twitter in recent months after announcing they had no plans to subscribe to Twitter Blue.
Twitter page Popbase tweeted that Musk was footing the bill himself saying: “Elon Musk reveals he is ‘personally paying’ the Twitter Blue subscriptions of some celebrities to keep their checkmark, such as Lebron James and Stephen King.”
To which Musk himself replied to the tweet saying: “Just Shatner, LeBron and King”.
Stephen King tweeted about his confusion himself saying: “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” with a follow up tweet to fans saying “Just so you know.” It was also confirmed that James declined an offer of a complimentary subscription.
It’s been suspected that a number of the most followed accounts on Twitter have been given affiliate blue checks. Of the 50 most-followed accounts on Twitter seven pages still have blue checks, including: Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres, Britney Spears, LeBron James, Jimmy Fallon, and Miley Cyrus.
Elon Musk’s ex, Grimes, with whom he shares two children is also listed as a subscriber for Twitter Blue though representatives have not commented on whether she’s paying for it or not.