Woke basketball star and billionaire Lebron James will soon be without a blue check on Twitter, as he announced that he is refusing to pay the few dollars per month required for Twitter verification.
Somewhat ironically, he made that announcement in a tweet, saying, “Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. 🤷🏾♂️”
That was in response to the news from Twitter that it would begin winding down its legacy verification program on April 1st. Announcing that, it said, “Starting April 1, 2023, we’ll begin winding down our legacy verification program. This page documents the criteria previously used to receive a blue verified badge. You can learn more about our current process for receiving a blue checkmark here.”
Describing the new requirement for getting a blue check, Twitter also said:
Only accounts actively subscribed to Twitter Blue are eligible to receive the blue checkmark.
Our team uses an eligibility criteria on when the checkmark is given to ensure we maintain the integrity of the platform. Your account must meet the following criteria to receive or retain the blue checkmark:
- Complete: Your account must have a display name and profile photo
- Active use: Your account must be active in the past 30 days to subscribe to Twitter Blue
- Security: Your account must be older than 30 days upon subscription and have a confirmed phone number
However, as Lebron will likely be affiliated with an organization that will be verified, the Los Angeles Lakers, he might get verified anyway. That’s because Elon announced that “Any individual person’s Twitter account affiliated with a verified organization is automatically verified.”
In the past, the coveted blue check was exclusively for notable people on Twitter, such as celebrities, government figures, journalists, and others. The old requirements page noted that “The blue Verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. To receive the blue badge, your account must be authentic, notable, and active.” However, there were many allegations that the program was biased against conservatives and that many who should have been verified were not.
Now, with Twitter Blue, anyone with $8 a month can get verified on Twitter. There are other benefits to Twitter Blue as well: those who pay for it can edit and delete tweets, see what news stories are trending, and have their posts and comments boosted. Elon argues that the program will also reduce bot and trolling activity.
At first, Twitter Blue led to a few stock market explosions as people pretended to be companies tweeting disastrously bad decisions, but the program was re-rolled out in December and has had no notable problems since then.
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