After acquiring the social media platform in late 2022, the billionaire introduced Twitter Blue, a service that allows anyone to purchase a blue tick/verified account for a monthly subscription fee.
Previously, blue ticks were typically given to notable accounts, such as high-profile figures, celebrities, major companies, politicians and members of the media.
However, as part of his new plan, Musk has warned that these “legacy accounts” – those who received blue ticks before his takeover – will lose their verified status unless they pay the monthly subscription fee.
“Hey @elonmusk, what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter?” Shatner tweeted Musk on Saturday (March 25).
“I’ve been here for 15 years giving my [time] & witty thoughts all for bupkis. Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this-the Colombia Records & Tape Club?”
In defence of his new program, Musk wrote: “It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities in my opinion.”
It’s more about treating everyone equally. There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities imo. https://t.co/rWi99sGPdq
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 27, 2023
Musk’s overhaul of the blue tick system is expected to take effect on April 1. When Twitter Blue was first launched, it sparked a major increase in parody accounts posing as companies and high-profile figures. The program was subsequently relaunched in December 2022.
Elsewhere, Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney recently announced that he is working on a film about the Tesla CEO, which will be titled simply Musk. He described it as a “definitive and unvarnished examination” of the multi-billionaire tech entrepreneur.
Gibney said in a statement: “I have been working on this film, off and on, for some time and am hugely excited about it. I am delighted by this extraordinary group who are working with me. Onward!”
Replying to a tweet about the film’s announcement, Musk wrote: “It’s a hit piece.”