According to reports, Twitter is revoking blue verification badges for accounts that don’t pay for them, unless they are high-profile celebrities like LeBron James. A Twitter employee recently offered James a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue, which he had previously refused to pay for. This offer was made on behalf of Elon Musk. James’ media advisor, Adam Mendelsohn, confirmed that he did not pay for verification. However, Musk has stated that he is personally paying for a few subscriptions, including those for Stephen King and William Shatner, among others.
LeBron James has been known for his public stance against paid verification on Twitter, famously saying, “I ain’t paying the $5.” However, despite his previous statements, his Twitter profile still displays a blue verification badge. Upon hovering over the badge, it is revealed that James’ account is verified because he is subscribed to Twitter Blue and has verified his phone number.
This recent development has sparked criticism from some Twitter users, who argue that the platform is giving preferential treatment to high-profile celebrities like James, while regular users are being forced to pay for verification. Meanwhile, others have noted that Twitter’s verification process has always been somewhat opaque and inconsistent, and that this latest move is just another example of the company’s lack of transparency.