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X’s accounts are getting blue ticks for free now, on the basis of their following

Elon Musk’s firm finally reverses policy of insisting on payment for verified statusbutdismays some beneficiaries. Now blue ticks can be earned based on following.

Elon Musk has been compelled to reverse one of his most hated decisions for X (the social network site formerly known as Twitter) since taking it overand started bestowing blue ticks on the accounts of site’s users for free on the basis of their following irrespective of their wishes.

The tech magnet and one-time “Chief Twit” had tweeted last week that the service would bestow free “premium” status to any user with 2,500+ “verified subscriber follows” and accounts with 5,000+ “verified subscriber follows” would get “premium+”. That policy is now being implemented.

The two tiers of paid-for service offer plethora of benefits. The cheaper of the two gives users fewer adverts and more noticeable placement in the site’s algorithmic curation and the more costlyone adds access to X’s “anti-woke” AI chatbotGrok, zero adverts and even better prioritisation for replies.

But both are best recognized for the public-facing incentive of a blue tick next to the user’s profile. That checkmark, still branded as “verification” on the site, was once earmarked for prominent users who had proven their identity, but was opened up under Elon Musk to any subscriber of the X’s paid-for tier, then called Twitter Blue.

In an effort to increase Blue subscriptions, Musk’s company began removing “legacy” checkmarks this time of the last year. Company expected that the site’s most prominent and dedicated users would promptly sign up for the paid-for service boosting revenue and the standing of a premium account. Instead, among many communities, the step cratered the social prestige of those with verification: in the absence of highly revered users with visible checkmarks, the sign became a mark of bought respect.

The problem became so precarious that by August, the freshly rebranded X introduced the option to hide checkmarks entirely, in an effort to entice users to subscribe for the other available features. Howsoever good intentioned the “free” ticks roll out would be, users who had never paid are voicing dismay at their new status.

“Shit. I’ve been forcibly bluechecked,” posted a journalist named Marcy Wheeler. The Wired writer Lauren Goode stated: “My blue check is back and I just want to make clear I am not paying El*n M*sk for this thanks very much.”It isunclear how many blue checks have been granted and also how many were unwanted.

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