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Celebrities Revolt After Elon Musk’s Twitter Removes Their Blue Verification Check Marks

Published: April 21, 2023
In this photo illustration the Twitter account of Elon Musk is seen on a mobile cellphone on April 21, 2023 in Knutsford, United Kingdom. The social media company started removing large numbers of the blue verification check marks, or "blue ticks," that had historically indicated a verified account. The company said in a statement that they are "removing legacy verified checkmarks" and, to remain verified on Twitter, users can sign up for the paid Twitter Blue subscription. (Image: illustration by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

On April 20, as promised, Elon Musk’s Twitter removed the blue verification check marks from all user accounts not subscribed to Twitter’s subscription service, prompting many celebrities to lash out at Musk and the platform.

Alyssa Milano, who first gained notoriety in the 1980s and recently starred in Ben Epstein’s movie, “Who Are You People” took to Twitter to aire her grievances tweeting, “So by revoking my blue check mark because I wouldn’t pay some arbitrary fee, someone can just be me and say a bunch of [expletive]. Does that mean Twitter and @elonmusk are liable for defamation or identity theft or fraud?”

Twitter had addressed this issue in the past with a “Parody, commentary, and fan account policy” which once read, “One way people on Twitter express themselves is by creating parody, commentary and fan accounts. These accounts are an important way people discuss topics they are passionate about, and we believe they can enrich conversations when the account’s identity does not deceive others.”

However, this URL now resolves to a “Sorry, this page doesn’t exist,” page.

Milano has gone as far as to edit her Twitter bio to state, “NOT PAYING FOR A BLUE CHECK MARK!”

Multi Grammy award-winning singer, comedienne and author, Bette Midler lashed out at Musk, calling him a “worm” after her blue check mark was removed.

“Elon took my blue check away! I’m unverified! After all these years and thousands of tweets and free content, this worm has the nerve to de-certify me!” she wrote.

In a subsequent tweet Midler referred to Musk as a “pathetic douche,” in an unhinged rant.

“Elon, deciding that I’m not me, I’m fake, & obliging ME, who has contributed mightily to your platform, (at least until you “tweaked the algorithm & tanked my metrics”) to pay monthly because you don;t have enough money & you’re humiliated b/c everyone thinks you’re a pathetic douche, is the funniest thing you’ve ever done,” she wrote, adding that, “Let that sink in. Sorry to hear about your rocket.”

Jason Alexander, who starred on one of the most watched sitcoms in history, Seinfeld, quit the platform altogether once his blue check mark was removed.

“Ok everyone. Twitter has removed my verification. I will no longer be posting on this app. Anyone who posts as me is an imposter. I wish you all well,” before tweeting, “One last- I’m on Spoutible and Insta. Take care all.”

Alexander’s page is still reachable indicating he has not gone as far as to delete the account, which has over 731 thousand followers.

Responding to a tweet addressing the controversy Musk tweeted on April 21, “We’ve started a ‘save-a-celebrity fund’ to pay their $8. We take this matter very seriously”

While Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have all implemented paid subscription services, other platforms are expected to follow suit.