Elon Check On

Musk Returns Twitter Blue Check, Badge To Accounts Of Prominent X Users

Elon Musk has given up, restoring the “lords and peasants” blue checkmark system he once admonished and assailed as elitism.

After insisting that journalists, celebrities and other notable users pay him $8 a month for Twitter’s once-coveted blue checkmark, the erratic billionaire has thrown in the towel, widely restoring blue badges to prominent accounts on the imperiled social media platform.

A number of people — including yours truly — woke up on Thursday to learn that X had declared them “an influential member of the community” and, thus, would be giving them “a complimentary subscription to X Premium.” The message the company sent to those users noted that X “reserves the right to cancel the complimentary subscription in its sole discretion.” (Translation: If you’re mean to Musk, you are likely putting yourself in jeopardy of losing it.)

The move is a major reversal by Musk, who made user payments for the blue checkmark a central tenet of his plan to build a subscription business on X and reduce the platform’s heavy dependency on advertiser dollars. “Trash me all day, but it’ll cost $8,” Musk insisted, endlessly repeating a version of that message to the vocal and constant complaints of users.

“To all complainers, please continue complaining, but it will cost $8,” Musk declared.

Musk — who often uses his perch as the most-followed user on X to share absurd and dangerous right-wing conspiracy theories — also took glee in stripping journalists of their status. The thin-skinned Musk has repeatedly smeared the press and, when he took over the platform, made it a point to strip journalists of any special cachet they carried, framing it as a move aimed at empowering the masses.

Read the full story at CNN.