Prince William and Kate Middleton would have been embarrassed, but Elon Musk saved them.
Some media, star, and other high-profile Twitter accounts got their blue ticks back on Saturday, which many of the people with those accounts didn’t like.
The blue tick was also put back on the official Twitter accounts for Prince William and Kate Middleton, “The Prince and Princess of Wales” and “The Royal Family.”
When the couple’s blue tick mark was taken off of their Twitter account, people began to wonder if they would pay for the verification service.
Many people thought that the Prince and Princess of Wales would get in trouble if they paid for their Twitter account with state money.
Blue ticks were once a free sign of authenticity and fame, but now Twitter says that users have to pay $8 a month to get them.
Accounts that didn’t pay but had a blue tick lost it on Thursday, when Twitter owner Elon Musk put into action a plan called “Twitter Blue” to bring in more money. This plan was announced last year.
Travis Brown, a software developer in Berlin who keeps track of social media sites, says that less than 5% of the 407,000 profiles of blue-ticked users actually signed up.
But on Friday and Saturday, a number of famous people, like author Stephen King, NBA winner LeBron James, and former US president Donald Trump, got their blue ticks back without doing anything.
Musk wrote on Twitter on Friday that he was “paying for a few (subscriptions) personally.”
The American rapper Lil Nas X, whose profile has the blue tick, tweeted, “On my soul, I didn’t pay for Twitter blue, you will feel my wrath, Tesla man!”
Some dead celebrities’ accounts also got a blue tick, such as that of the US chef Anthony Bourdain.
Many public media accounts, including AFP, which has not signed up for Twitter Blue, got a tick mark back.
This month, Musk apologised for calling the New York Times “propaganda” and gave the newspaper its gold tag back.
The Times is one of the big media companies that has a gold tick for a “official business account” that pays at least $1,000 a month.
US public radio NPR and Canada’s public station CBC did not start tweeting again after their accounts were turned back on, and as of Sunday, they still had not.
The broadcasters were among those who didn’t like the names “state-affiliated” and “government-funded” that Twitter gave them. Those labels used to be given to media that wasn’t independent and was paid for by autocratic governments.
On Friday, Twitter got rid of these labels, including ones that were put on China’s official news source Xinhua and Russia’s RT.
‘No means no’
As the blue tick became a sign of support for Musk, many people who got them by accident made it clear that they had not signed up.
Tech writer Kara Swisher tweeted on Saturday, “No means no, boys,” saying that she had gotten the blue tick without her permission.
“Inquiring minds need to know: Does Elon love me for me or for my 1.49 million followers?” she asked two hours after saying she wouldn’t pay “$8/month for blue tick and meh features.”
Also given a blue tick was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which wrote on Saturday, “We did not subscribe to Twitter Blue.”
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, who made fun of Musk last July by saying he had “bad impulse control,” said on Saturday, “So my blue cheque has come back. I didn’t do that, and I’m not going to pay for it.”
The CEO of Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX replied with a picture of a baby covered in tomato sauce who was crying over a plate of pasta and wearing a bib with a blue tick on it.