Twitter Inexplicably Adds Verification Back to Some Accounts, Including Dead Celebrities
Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Bourdain and Norm Macdonald were among some of the accounts that the Elon Musk–run company now claims subscribe to Twitter Blue.
BY J. CLARA CHAN, APRIL 23, 2023
For further proof that Elon Musk’s approach to verification on Twitter can change on a whim, some top users on the social platform with significant followings — including stars who have died — were reverified over the weekend with no explanation from the company.
The reverification comes after Twitter mass removed blue verification check marks from legacy users on April 20, impacting a whole slew of public figures — including Kim Kardashian and the Pope — and journalists without the badge. That same day, however, Musk claimed he was personally paying for three users — LeBron James, Stephen King and William Shatner — to retain their verification.
At the time, a source close to James told The Hollywood Reporter that the NBA star had received an email from Twitter offering a comped subscription, but James had never responded to it to accept the subscription.
By Sunday, the platform appeared to reverse course, adding the blue check badge back to the accounts of users who were previously verified, but now with a badge description denoting that they subscribe to Twitter Blue. Impacted accounts have included those of living celebrities like Kardashian, James Gunn and Lil Nas X, who now all have a blue check mark, as well as those who have died. That includes Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Bourdain, Norm Macdonald, Michael Jackson and Kobe Bryant, among others.
Some of Twitter’s co-founders also received their verification back but former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was notably not included. And several users who did receive their verification again weren’t exactly pleased about the change. Users like Patton Oswalt and Chrissy Teigen have recommended that those who want to purposefully remove their verification badges can change their handles on Twitter and change them back, triggering removal of the badge.
Twitter, which has no formal communications team and auto-responds to all emailed press inquiries with a poop emoji, did not respond to a request for clarification.