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Hundreds of celebrities lose verified status in Twitter's bonfire of blue ticks - but who has paid to keep it?
21 April 2023, 08:49 | Updated: 21 April 2023, 09:21
Ever since taking over Twitter in October, Elon Musk has been promising to remove the blue ticks of users who did not subscribe to the platform's new 'Twitter Blue' service.
The change was due to come into effect in March, but thousands of blue ticks remained in place nonetheless.
Then, last week, Mr Musk confirmed that the company would start removing blue ticks on April 20 - known informally around the world as a cannabis smoking holiday.
Thousands of Twitter users have now seen their blue ticks removed, including hundreds of celebrities.
That includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Harry Styles, Kim Kardashian, Bill Gates and many, many more.
But there is also a long list of celebrities that have decided to keep their verified status by paying £11 per month.
Who has kept their blue tick?
Some of the most famous celebrities to have kept their blue ticks are Hollywood actors and musicians, including Ryan Reynolds and Taylor Swift.
Back in the UK, there are a few celebrities that have decided the Twitter blue fee is worth it.
Gary Lineker, for example, is one celebrity that is now paying the £11-per-month fee.
So have TV and media personalities Holly Willoughby, Martin Lewis and Susanna Reid.
Mr Lewis said he paid for the verification at the end of March due to the "peculiar position" he finds himself in where "scammers commonly impersonate" him.
I've just paid for Twitter Blue verification, but pls don't read-across that this is a recommendation, or support for the changes.— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) March 29, 2023
I'm in a peculiar position that scammers commonly impersonate me to steal from the vulnerable, so I feel obligated to do it to reduce that risk
Celebrities to have kept their blue ticks include:
- Britney Spears
- Taylor Swift
- Ryan Reynolds
- Hugh Jackman
- Elon Musk
- Gary Lineker
- Conor McGregor
- Snoop Dogg
- Chris Hemsworth
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Khloe Kardashian
- Miley Cyrus
- Joe and Nick Jonas
- Shawn Mendes
- David Guetta
- Chance the Rapper
- Jimmy Fallon
- Kevin Pietersen
- Jemima Goldsmith
- Anthea Turner
- Paul Pogba
- Neil Patrick Harris
Mr Musk has also revealed he is "personally paying" for some users to keep their blue ticks.
That includes Stephen King, who initially appeared confused that his blue tick remained despite not paying, as well as basketball star Lebron James and William Shatner.
You’re welcome namaste 🙏— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2023
A number of celebrities have defended their decision to pay for the Twitter blue service.
Jemima Goldsmith wrote online: "I subscribed to Twitter blue a while back for the edit button, which is actually a bit of a con since- unlike on Instagram - you only have a half hr window post- tweet to make edits.
"Pointless. It takes me way longer to realise I’ve messed up. And now I’m in the uncool gang."
Twitter first introduced its verification system 2009 after a professional baseball player sued the social media site over fake accounts.
There were a number of rigorous steps users had to go through to ensure they were given a blue tick, including proving their place of work and identity by uploading a picture of their driving license or passport.
But under Mr Musk's tenure, Twitter is attempting to prioritise accounts that want to make content on the site and in doing so, make money.
As well as subscribing to Twitter Blue, users can set up their own content-related service for users to pay to subscribe to, where they gain access to exclusive content.
SpaceX rocket explodes minutes after launch
It comes after the launch of the world's ever biggest rocket, Starship, by Mr Musk's company SpaceX.
It was the second time SpaceX attempted to launch Starship this week after a failure on Monday.
While the rocket failed to get off the ground on Monday, it managed several minutes in the air before exploding four minutes into the test flight.
SpaceX described the explosion as a "rapid unscheduled disassembly".
SpaceX CEO Mr Musk congratulated his team on the launch.
He added: "Learned a lot for next test launch in a few months."