The White House will not pay for blue checks.
If Twitter owner Elon Musk makes good on his word to remove verification checkmarks from the accounts of individuals unwilling to pay him $8 per month, some White House representatives may no longer have verified accounts Saturday.
Since shelling out $44 billion to acquire Twitter in October, the entrepreneur has struggled to make the social media platform profitable. His decision to restore the accounts of users suspended for promoting hate speech and disinformation was popular among those it benefitted, but drove away advertisers. By Musk’s own estimate, his company has lost $24 billion in value.
Musk announced last week: “On April 1st, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks.”
That tweet included a link where users can purchase subscriptions.
According to Axios, the White House will not purchase verification for itself as an organization or for its staffers.
As it happens
Get updates on the coronavirus pandemic and other news as it happens with our free breaking news email alerts.
“It is our understanding that Twitter Blue does not provide person-level verification as a service,” White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty reportedly told staffers Friday. “Thus, a blue checkmark will now simply serve as a verification that the account is a paid user.”
The White House itself — as well as some officials — will see grey checkmarks in their account profile, denoting they’re authentic, according to Twitter.
[ What a twit: Elon Musk’s awful term atop Twitter ]
Flaherty reportedly informed White House staffers that they’re welcome to pay for their own blue checks, but indicated he didn’t see value in that service if anyone can purchase such a mark.
Musk indicated Twitter Blue would offer user perks, including the ability to participate in unscientific online polls conducted by Twitter personalities like Catturd — a Florida man who pushes right-wing conspiracy theories.
While Musk seems serious, Twitter users note his verification deadline falls on April Fool’s Day.
Celebrities, including author Stephen King, were quick to tell Musk they wouldn’t pay to have their content published on his site.
“F–k that,” the best-selling novelist tweeted in October when Musk started toying with the idea. “They should pay me.”
Connecticut legislature passes landmark gun-control measures
NYC ‘respite centers’ now house some 2,500 migrants, often for days, despite short-term promise
Trump subpoenaed for document discussed at Bedminster: report