Elon Musk removes legacy blue ticks from verified Twitter accounts

Celebrities, businesses and high-profile individuals will see changes to their Twitter accounts today as Elon Musk's decision to revamp Twitter's verification system has resulted in the removal of 'legacy' blue ticks from numerous accounts.  Users who didn't subscribe to Twitter Blue also lose their verification badges.

Previously, verified accounts were given blue ticks based on their public interest, but now only those with Twitter Blue can keep the blue tick. The change is part of Musk's aim to eliminate the 'lords and peasants' system of verification, restore trust and free speech, and turn Twitter into a 'digital town square'.

Last month, TV actor William Shatner on his Twitter account asked “Hey @elonmusk what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter…? Musk responded, “It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo.”

The date for the final removal of the 'legacy' blue ticks was initially set for 1 April but was later moved to 20 April. Under the new system, businesses must pay for a gold tick, which is £11,400 per year if they want to keep this official mark, and additional £50 monthly charge if they have any affiliated accounts; while governments will receive grey ticks for free.

Although some users are unhappy about the change, best-selling author Stephen King appears to be unfazed by it. However, the move has given rise to numerous impersonation accounts, and the fees for the new verification system are still subject to change.