White House Won’t Pay For Staffers Blue Checkmarks Under Twitter’s New Verification Plan

The White House won’t pay for staffers to have Twitter’s blue verification checkmarks, as platform owner Elon Musk implements a plan to remove them unless users pay for the service.

Axios reported on Friday that White House director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty wrote to staffers that “it is our understanding that Twitter Blue does not provide person-level verification as a service. Thus, a blue check mark will now simply serve as a verification that the account is a paid user.”

To maintain a blue checkmark, users will have to pay $8 per month, of $84 per year. Musk has said that the platform will begin removing the blue checkmarks starting on April 1. Twitter also is placing a gray checkmark on accounts of government organizations and certain government officials, but they do not include all staffers.

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The blue checkmarks previously had been given to public figures, journalists and other notables for free. It was designed as a way to quickly identify trustworthy accounts and curb the spread of imposter accounts.

Other organizations have also pushed back against the pay-for-checkmark plan. Some news outlets have announced that they won’t be paying for the checkmarks, while LeBron James is among the celebrity figures who have vowed not to do so.

He wrote on Friday, “Welp guess my blue [checkmark] will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5.”

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