Twitter to finally cull ‘legacy’ blue ticks today

Twitter will finally remove “legacy” blue ticks from verified accounts on Thursday.

Elon Musk announced earlier this month that 20 April was the final date for culling the checkmarks – almost three weeks after the original plan to do so on April Fool’s Day.

The only blue ticks left will be those with a Twitter Blue subscription, which costs up to £11 a month in the UK, or those who are affiliated with the company.

Accounts with different coloured checkmarks will keep those – gold indicates they are a verified business, while grey means they represent a government, multilateral organisation or official.

It brings the curtain down on one of the most tumultuous elements of Musk‘s stewardship of Twitter since his controversial $44bn (£38bn) takeover last October.

A timeline of ticks under Musk

One of Musk’s first major decisions was to allow users to pay for a checkmark, declaring “power to the people”.

But it quickly backfired, leaving the platform awash with accounts posing as brands, celebrities, and politicians.

One purporting to be former US president George W Bush tweeted “I miss killing Iraqis”, while another disguised as Nintendo’s official account posted a picture of Super Mario making a rude gesture.

Twitter paused the rollout of paid-for ticks as a result, introduced different coloured ticks to distinguish between governments, businesses, and people, and relaunched Twitter Blue a month later.

Musk has long said the changes were with a view to completely removing so-called “legacy” blue checkmarks, which Twitter introduced shortly after it first launched to help people know which accounts are legitimate.

In a final controversy before setting a date for their removal, Twitter made the old verified ticks indistinguishable from those who had paid for one.Celebrities, sports stars and journalists are among those set to be impacted by today’s cull.

The likes of NBA icon LeBron James and the Associated Press have said they will not pay to keep their ticks.

So too did The New York Times, one of Musk’s most despised media outlets, prompting him to remove it early.