Elon Musk Restores Blue Checks on X for ‘Influential’ Users, Some of Whom Clarify They ‘Would Never Pay for This’

It appears that Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, has restored blue check marks to popular users overnight — and some of them are taking to the platform to clarify that they didn’t pay for the perk.

Musk detailed his plan to remove legacy blue checks soon after he acquired Twitter in October 2022, trashing the company’s previous account-verification policy as “corrupt and nonsensical.” Musk’s new policy went into effect in April 2023 and to keep the checks, users were required to subscribe to Twitter Blue (now called X Premium), which starts at $8 per month. However, within a few days, Musk restored the verified badges for high-profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé to avoid confusion over the authenticity of the accounts.

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Now it seems Musk has restored the check marks for what X is calling “influential members of the community.” He first hinted at this policy in a post on March 27, writing that “going forward, all 𝕏 accounts with over 2,500 verified subscriber followers will get Premium features for free and accounts with over 5,000 will get Premium+ for free.”

It appears that the policy went into effect on Wednesday night, as many of these “influential” users took to X to clarify that they did not pay for a Premium subscription in order to restore their blue checks.

“What happened? I didn’t pay for this. I would NEVER pay for this,” “Community” actor Yvette Nicole Brown wrote on X. “When did the Blue Check mark start getting passed around again?!”

“American Fiction” star and Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright also lamented the return of his blue check, posting a screenshot of the notification of his complimentary subscription, which reads: “As an influential member of the community on X, we’ve given you a complimentary subscription to X Premium subject to X Premium Terms by selecting this notice. X reserves the right to cancel the complimentary subscription in its sole discretion.”

“Translation: Pay $8? Kidding. Help me. But don’t say anything too free speechy about me or my Garbage Tower of Babel shitsite,” Wright wrote.

“The Wire” creator David Simon did not mince words in his reaction to getting his blue check back. “Yo, Elon, take this blue check and scratch your taint with the long end of it,” he wrote. “Does anyone out there know how to turn this fucker off?”

Representatives for X did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

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