Elon Musk Restores Blue Checks on Twitter for Popular Users, Much to Their Dismay

After announcing his intention to offer free blue checkmarks to high profile users on X, formerly known as Twitter, Elon Musk has implemented the plan — but not without some criticism.

In March, Musk confirmed that X would be giving free Premium memberships to accounts with a high number of verified followers. “Going forward, all X accounts with over 2500 verified subscriber followers will get Premium features for free and accounts with over 5000 will get Premium+ for free,” he wrote.

That plan appears to have come to fruition today, with many newly-verified users unhappy that Musk has forced a Premium account on them. Replying to Nate Silver, The Wire creator David Simon tweeted, “Fuck right off. He devalued its meaning and purpose in every sense and made it a symbol of the worst kind of rank trollery. Now he wants to give it back whether we want it or not? It’s permissible to tell the guy to piss on his shoes.”

He added, “My check mark showed up a few hours ago, unrequested. Gone by morning if I can figure out how. Neither criticizing the vile management here nor calling you an asshole for telling us we can’t so criticize that management as a means of gaining any clout. Doing it because both things are simply true.”

Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright reposted a photo of his Premium confirmation, which says X can cancel the subscription at their discretion. “Translation: Pay $8? Kidding. Help me. But don’t say anything too free speechy about me or my Garbage Tower of Babel shitsite,” he commented.

Yvette Nicole Brown was confused by the blue check, tweeting confirmation that she didn’t buy it. “What happened?” she tweeted. “I didn’t pay for this. I would NEVER pay for this. When did the Blue Check mark start getting passed around again?!”

Mark Hamill wrote in response to another user, “I didn’t pay for mine either. People: please don’t judge for my complimentary blue check.”

Author Jeff Pearlman noted, “I honestly feel like someone gave me herpes. Dear @elonmusk — I didn’t ask for this blue check, and I don’t want it. Please give it, free of charge and with warmest regards, to some kook conspiracy theorist who thinks Trump is Jesus and the quadsexuals have invaded Biden’s brain.”


The Atlantic staff writer Tom Nichols added, “I see that Musk is going back to the failed attempt to stick blue checks on people to try to obscure the difference between sensible folks and people who will pay eight dollars to Elon Musk.”

Musk began criticizing Twitter’s verification system — launched in 2009 after celebrities complained of unauthorized impersonator accounts — shortly after taking control of the company in a $44 billion deal. Last year, he announced he would remove the blue check verification system from X, which confirmed the real identities of notable users like celebrities, journalists, and politicians. The new tiered membership-based system costs $8 or $16 per month, allowing anyone to get the once-coveted blue check for a fee.