X is giving blue checks to people with more than 2,500 Premium followers

Last night, several well-known journalists, etc placed (complains in many cases) about unexpected refunds certified blue checks On Elon Musk’s X platform. One of them, Peter Kafka, shared a message from X indicating that the update was no accident.

“As a respected member of the community at X, we have given you a free subscription to X Premium subject to the X Premium Terms by opting into this notice,” it says.

A subsequent tweet from X explained: Over 2,500 verified accounts (ie paid Premium or Premium+ subscribers with a blue tick) get Premium features for free, while over 5,000 get ad-free. Premium+ levelalso for free.

Previously, the only users who got free Premium blue vouchers were celebrities and corporations/media companies, as well as those with large followings (in the million range, minimum). The new move appears to be a way to attract influential users with a smaller following (mainly journalists) to the ranks.

But what led to this? X may have decided he needs more journalists with blue checks. After recent events (the Taiwan earthquake, the Turkish election, the Baltimore bridge collapse), some users have complained that X is no longer the gold standard news platform that Twitter is.

That’s likely because X’s algorithms amplify blue-check content and responses, while journalists who discover or amplify such stories see their authority diminish. This means that a know-nothing or shitcoin promoter with 25 followers who paid $8 will top the answers, not an experienced journalist who can provide useful, accurate information.

With the blue check now in many cases a sign of shame, quite a number of users who have returned one are none too happy about it. @emptywheel wrote: “Damn, I was forced to blue check. How can I refuse.” “Oh no,” tweeted Katie Notopoulos. “I became a bluecheck, shibacoin promoter.”

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