X’s ‘complimentary’ Premium push gives people blue checks they didn’t ask for

April 4, 2024
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Just as Elon Musk said, X is doling out free Premium and Premium memberships to accounts with a high number of verified followers.

Multiple X users on Wednesday reported seeing the familiar blue “Verified” checkmark next to their handles despite not paying for either paid X subscription tier. Musk last week announced that X accounts with over 2,500 “verified subscriber followers” would receive a free Premium membership; while accounts with over 5,000 would receive a free Premium Plus membership.

Before Musk’s takeover, the verified symbol on the platform known as Twitter was generally applied to celebrities, politicians, journalists, and others in the public eye. After the platform rolled out paid verification, it became a label anyone could obtain along with purchasing a Premium membership. Previously verified X users who refused to pay lost their checkmarks, though Elon Musk personally intervened to push it on people like Steven King and LeBron, and it was eventually added to many accounts with more than a million followers (which also verified accounts for many people who’d died or otherwise had not requested it).

Now, it appears that many influential X accounts with already large followings in the tens or hundreds of thousands (which may translate to verified followings that cross the benchmark) are once again check-marked, or will be, whether they like it or not.

X users who were granted verification under the latest scheme received the following message, according to a screenshot by Peter Kafka of Business Insider.

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