Unless it turns out to be yet another one of Elon Musk’s dumb jokes, at some time on Thursday, April 20 (get it? 4/20), Twitter’s verification system will end when all so-called “legacy” verified accounts will lose their blue checks. At that point, only people who agree to pay the world’s richest man $8 for a subscription to “Twitter Blue” will be able to have one.
Going just by his public statements, Musk seems to think that revoking verified status will convince users to subscribe in order to subsidize his (vastly overpaid) $44 billion purchase of the site. But at least when it comes to some of Twitter’s most notable celebrity users, he’s sadly (or, if you prefer, hilariously) mistaken. Glittery Twitterati including Oscar Winner Halle Berry, “Abbott Elementary” creator Quinta Brunson, Tony Award-winner Jeffrey Wright, “and “Mission Impossible” mainstay director Christopher McQuarrie and actress Valerie Bertinelli are giving him the bird.
In March, Musk announced that legacy verification checkmarks would go away on April 1. That is, of course, April Fool’s Day, which is why many assumed he was joking. Naturally, April 1 came and went without the policy coming into effect. 20 days later, almost every “legacy” user still has their blue check — with one notable exception being the New York Times.
Last week, Musk announced that legacy blue checks would go away on April 20, and since that date happens to double as one of the most played out cannabis references on earth, it’s still not entirely clear if it’ll actually happen. If it does, it’s gonna be a lot less star-studded than the blue check scene is right now.
“I can also be reached on instagram. Good luck, folks,” McQuarrie tweeted.
“Me joining you all tomorrow unverified ?,” Berry tweeted while showing a clip of her walking onto a talk show set waving.
“This really works out for me because I was planing on never using this website again after tonight, anyway. Just wanted to stay to give Abbott updates 🙂 By the way, Thanks to our fans here for watching and sharing all season,” Brunson said, adding, “I will be like this tomorrow though,” along with a gif of Nicole Kidman shouting for joy.
Like every other site that verifies users, the original purpose of Twitter verification — slangily referred to as “blue check status” — was to confirm the authenticity of prominent accounts. The blue check next to someone’s username indicated that they are who they say they are and also makes it harder for malicious users to impersonate celebrities, politicians, journalists, activists, organizations and other public-facing Twitter accounts.
Tomorrow however — as Politico put it in March when it joined the majority of major American media companies and informed employees that it would neither pay for Twitter blue of cover Twitter blue subscriptions for employees — having a blue check no longer means anything other than that you were willing to pay for it.
See who else in Hollywood and elsewhere isn’t paying for a blue check below.