The social media company led by Elon Musk has begun removing blue checkmarks from accounts unless they’re subscribed to Twitter Blue. We’re pretty sure this isn’t one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, but it sure feels like it. Elon Musk has made good on his promise as Twitter has now begun removing the iconic blue checkmark from multiple accounts. The only ones now able to bear the mark (apocalypse!) are those who have subscribed to the USD $8-a-month (HKD 62 a month here in Hong Kong) Twitter Blue service. 

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Elon Musk’s Twitter has started removing the blue checkmark from numerous accounts

Twitter CEO and Clint Eastwood cosplayer, Elon Musk. (Image credit: Tesla)

The fiasco with the blue checkmark has been ongoing ever since Elon Musk took over the blue bird… Well, it could be argued that the fiasco was Elon Musk taking over, but that’s another story entirely. The Tesla founder had mentioned making changes to the way account verifications worked and soon rolled out Twitter Blue. 

The subscription service provides your account with the coveted checkmark, once reserved only for accounts that were considered notable, as well as other fun stuff like being able to bold and italicise your tweets, edit them, organise your bookmarks in folders, and get “prioritized rankings in conversations and search”. All these cool features are available to the public for a cool price of eight bucks a month.

In true internet fashion, people went wild with it. Accounts were set up that impersonated companies and politicians, and tweets were sent out that were questionable at least and downright racist at most. Twitter and Musk suspended the service, reworked it, and then relaunched it again. 

Different coloured checkmarks were also introduced to differentiate accounts, whether they were government accounts or state-affiliated media (this tag has also gotten garnered some news recently). The iconic blue, however, was to be reserved for the elite Twitter Blue users, and Musk said that April 20th would be the last day people who hadn’t subscribed would be able to enjoy their verified status.

That day has now come (there’s a time difference, okay). Among the many who have lost their checkmark include the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Bill Gates, Pope Francis, the Twitter founder himself Jack Dorsey, and—please sit down for this—Beyoncé.

Unsurprisingly, Musk has kept his checkmark because he’s an “affiliate of Twitter”.

Your Twitter feed might be rife with impostors in the next few days, so stay wary. If perhaps this has urged you to want to find a different site to rant on, consider our list of alternatives we wrote last year.

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok