Twitter starts removing blue check marks from users who aren’t paying

On Thursday, Twitter started removing blue check marks profiles of journalists, celebrities, and politicians.

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A check mark for Twitter users has over the last few years meant that the user was verified and according to The New York Times, it resembled a form of status on the platform. However, since Elon Musk bought the company in October for $44 billion, the platform has begun to charge users $8 a month to keep that verification.

“We are removing legacy verified checkmarks,” the company said in a statement on Twitter, according to the Times. “To remain verified on Twitter, individuals can sign up for Twitter Blue.”

Twitter had about 300,000 verified users through the original verification blue check mark, according to The Associated Press.

Some of the high-profile Twitter users who lost their check marks include Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey, and former President Donald Trump, the AP reported.

LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner said that they did not want to pay for the verification mark, but remained verified Thursday which showed that their accounts have been paid for.

Other accounts that retained the verification mark included Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears and Tim Cook, according to Variety.

The verified accounts had an updated message as of Thursday afternoon, according to Variety.

“This account is verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number,” the new messaging read, according to Variety.

Musk in November said he planned to “dismantle” the blue checkmark system, Variety reported.