Twitter on Thursday began removing legacy blue checkmarks from user profiles, with famous people including Pope Francis, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo losing their verified status.
Under Elon Musk’s ownership, Twitter has changed how it hands out the coveted blue checkmarks, previously given to noted individuals, journalists, executives, politicians and establishments after verifying their identities. They served as a mark of authenticity.
Musk said in November that Twitter will begin charging US$8 (S$10.68) per month for the badge in an effort to launch more revenue streams beyond advertising. The company later offered checkmarks in other colors – gold for businesses and a gray for government and multilateral organisations and officials.