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Ronaldo, Beyoncé and others to lose their verified Twitter account

What do Beyonce and Cristiano Ronaldo have in common? As of today, they are no longer verified on Twitter.
On Thursday, the social media giant began removing the once-coveted blue checkmark from thousands of accounts.

The move came as owner Elon Musk was attempting to restructure the social media company to turn a profit. Users who want to leave a check next to their name will have to pay $84 (£67) per year to join Twitter Blue. Some have lost their ticks while others have kept them. Despite saying he wouldn’t pay to check, LeBron James still has the blue checkmark, which is a “free subscription” gift from Elon Musk.

The billionaire confirmed that Stephen King and William Shatner had the same deal. When this change occurred, many previously identified users took to Twitter to joke about it or mourn the loss. American Olympian Lolo Jones mentioned that she’s still testing something important: her dating profile. Other users have pointed out the irony that while actor Jason Sudeikis has lost his credentials, the fictional character he plays, Ted Lasso, has not. “The fact that we are discussing the blue tick is a sad moment for society,” he wrote.

The company first introduced the authentication feature in 2009 after a former professional baseball player sued the social media giant over an impersonation account. The blue checkmark has become a status symbol and a sign of power. But in the new version of Twitter,

Musk wants users to pay for verification. The decision to monetize verification could usher in a massive cultural and power shift on the platform. In the days before verification, Kanye West, Shaq and Ewan McGregor were among the first celebrities to speak out about being impersonated on Twitter. Now that the badges are gone, a celebrity’s follower count may become the only way to tell the difference between someone famous and an imposter.

Within a few hours of losing verification, an account posing as Hillary Clinton, complete with the same profile picture as the former US Senator, “announced” she would again run for the presidency. Under Twitter’s new verification scheme, gold, grey and blue badges are meant to provide more context to how an account was verified.

However, the lack of confirmation is already baffling. New York claimed the new pseudonym was a “true Twitter account” representing the government. Experts warn that such tweets can lead to the spread of misinformation. Mr. Musk tried to frame the decision to eliminate reviews as a way to democratize the site’s content. But critics say the move will reinforce misinformation, as Twitter Blue followers are prioritized in the rankings. Musk said only verified accounts will appear in the For You site’s prominent feed.

Social media monitors and pundits are concerned that the rise in paid verification will bring more misinformation to sites. If that happens, it could scare off more advertisers and undercut the additional revenue Twitter generates from its verified subscription model. But Musk said the pain is part of the change. “I think we’re going in the right direction,” he told BBC News. “Overall, I think the trend is very good.”

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