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Twitter users baffled after blue ticks return to some accounts despite 'not paying for them'
23 April 2023, 09:08 | Updated: 23 April 2023, 09:24
One of Elon Musk's first promises as Twitter CEO was to remove blue ticks from users that did not pay for them.
On April 20, after a number of missed deadlines, Twitter's bonfire of blue ticks finally began.
Countless celebrities and politicians lost their blue ticks, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian, and many, many more.
There were also a number of celebrities, in the UK and abroad, that decided to pay for theirs, including Taylor Swift and Gary Lineker.
But a number of users are now claiming they have been given back their blue tick, without subscribing to the £11-per-month subscription fee.
Despite the implication when you click the blue badge that has mysteriously re-appeared beside my name, I am not paying for the "honour".— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) April 23, 2023
That includes Lord of the Rings and X-Men star Ian McKellen.
The actor tweeted: "Despite the implication when you click the blue badge that has mysteriously re-appeared beside my name, I am not paying for the honour."
Author Stephen King also previously tweeted about the return of his blue tick, despite 'not paying' for the service.
In response to Mr King, as well as other celebrities including LeBron James and William Shatner, Mr Musk appeared to indicate that he could personally pay for some users' Twitter blue subscription.
One suggestion has been that Mr Musk has simply decided to hand blue ticks out to whichever accounts he likes.
Another is that Twitter users with more than one million followers have had their blue ticks reinstated.
That seems like a plausible theory, given that Cristiano Ronaldo, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles and Kim Kardashian have all seen their blue ticks return.
So have Dara O Briain, Andy Murray and Ricky Gervais.
Some have complained, as the blue tick label still indicates the user has paid for Twitter blue.
Media commentator Owen Jones said: "Isn't it some form of defamation to falsely make it look like people have purchased a product associated with being a total loser."
My Blue Tick has reappeared. I can only assume this is a gift for all the bath pics over the years.— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) April 23, 2023
Neither Twitter nor Mr Musk has confirmed whether this is the case.
It also appears blue ticks have only returned to some accounts with more than one million followers.
Ryan Reynolds, for example, has 21.3 million followers, but his tick has not returned.