Los Angeles [US]: From laying off employees to charging a fee for blue tick, billionaire Elon Musk rolled out major changes on Twitter ever since he took over as the company’s new CEO.
Musk has been subject to heavy criticism for the changes he made at Twitter. Currently, he is being slammed by many for removing legacy blue checkmarks — the verification badges that were obtained by people under the old system -from the handles of those who have not subscribed to Blue subscription.
However, Musk admitted that he is paying for some prominent Twitter accounts to retain their blue ticks. Noted author Stephen King’s blue tick is apparently being sponsored by Musk and seems like he is not happy about it.
In a tweet, Stephen King said the money spent on his verification should be donated to charity amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.
“I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only USD 8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more,” he tweeted.
I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only $8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) April 22, 2023
King’s tweet to Musk came after the latter claimed that he retained his blue check even without subscribing to the platform’s blue check service, which now costs USD 8 per month. “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue,” King said. “I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.”
King’s tweet on charity did not go down well with Musk. He hit back at the author by announcing his USD 100 million donation to Ukraine and questioned the former’s contribution.’
“I’ve donated USD 100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated? (We turned down the DoD money btw),” Musk asked.
I’ve donated $100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated?
(We turned down the DoD money btw) https://t.co/wpLa6dTnP6
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 23, 2023
Musk went on to mention how his SpaceX organisation has taken a financial hit by continuing to fund its Starlink service in Ukraine despite declining money from the Department of Defense.
The blue tick served as a way of protecting well-known individuals from impersonation and tackling false information.”On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks. To keep your blue checkmark on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue,” Twitter said in a post in March.
Twitter first introduced the blue check mark system in 2009 to help users identify that celebrities, politicians, companies and brands, news organizations and other accounts “of public interest” were genuine and not impostors or parody accounts. The company didn’t previously charge for verification.
Musk launched Twitter Blue with the check-mark badge as one of the premium perks within two weeks of the company’s takeover last year.