This photograph taken on November 7, 2022 shows the logos of social networks ... -
Copyright © africanews
JOEL SAGET/AFP or licensors
Twitter users bid farewell to an iconic feature on the platform, as many reported on Thursday that they had lost their verified blue check marks.
These badges were initially awarded by the company's previous leadership to distinguish high-profile users and public organizations.
While Twitter had previously announced that the system would be phased out on April 1, nothing happened until CEO Elon Musk announced a new end date of April 20.
As of early Thursday afternoon, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Kim Kardashian lost their coveted blue checks, as did prominent TV personalities such as CNN's Christiane Amanpour and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Public figures from all walks of life, including Bill Gates and Pope Francis, also lost their verification status.
Though some congressional representatives still had the gray government check mark on their official accounts, others, such as Ayanna Pressley, Brian Mast, and Ilhan Omar, lost verification on their personal accounts.
However, certain politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene retained their blue check marks on personal accounts.
As the removal process was underway on Thursday, some users reported confusing glitches that caused their blue check marks to disappear, reappear, and then vanish once again. Nevertheless, most users who lost their verification badges seemed prepared to bid them farewell.
In a related development, Twitter has tweaked its language surrounding verified accounts, citing that they are "verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number." However, the alteration has sparked conjecture amongst netizens, with some wondering if renowned personalities have shelled out cash to acquire this coveted status.
This modification has led to some confusion, especially since certain verified accounts from the past still maintain their checkmarks. As a result, a few high-profile figures, such as author Stephen King, have taken to Twitter to assert that they did not resort to purchasing the verification badge.
This revelation has left many pondering the significance of verified accounts and how they are granted. While Twitter has yet to comment on the matter, it is clear that the discussion surrounding the blue checkmark will continue to generate interest and speculation.