When Elon Musk first announced Twitter would start charging for verification, he the company’s legacy “lords & peasants” system was “bullshit.” Now, just days after , Twitter has begun handing out blue ticks to celebrity users and accounts with more than one million followers. Among the users who received the verification but say they did not pay for the service include author , actor , the and Twitter comic dril.
“For the curious, I’m not subscribed to Twitter Blue,” author Neil Gaiman on Sunday afternoon. “I haven’t given anyone my phone number. What a sad, muddled place this has become.” Other celebrities expressed similar sentiments. “Ah they got me. Im fucked,” dril wrote, before later losing his check mark – seemingly because , the writer who runs the account,
It’s unclear just how many users Twitter has re-verified in this way. On Friday, Musk he was “personally” paying the Twitter Blue subscription of a few celebrities, including LeBron James and Stephen King. Additionally, accounts that once belonged to , and , celebrities who died long before Musk’s takeover of Twitter, were also reverified over the weekend. The same message appears if you click on any of the blue checks associated with those accounts. “This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”
It’s unclear if someone paid to verify those accounts or if Twitter granted them blue checks free of charge. Twitter does not operate a public relations department Engadget could reach for comment. Understandably, many of those who got their check mark for free are upset that Twitter is suggesting they paid for Twitter Blue. “Its ok he in charging telling him its illegal,” dril joked, pointing to a screenshot showing the Wikipedia page detailing the Lanham Act, a federal law that lays out, among other things, what constitutes false endorsement in the US.