Twitter Users With a Million Followers Are Getting ‘Paid’ Blue Checks, Like It or Not

It’s another day, and there’s another bizarre glitch in the Twitterverse. This time it involves paid Twitter Blue badges suddenly proliferating on accounts that reportedly have at least one million followers, except the account holders have not enrolled in the subscription service. In fact, some of the account holders are dead.

On Saturday, multiple users with reportedly at least a million Twitter followers noticed that their blue checks that had vanished on Friday, April 20 during Elon Musk’s purge (which has predictably not gone well) of the legacy blue check verified accounts, are now reinstated. And many were unhappy with the change because they do not endorse Twitter Blue.

Yet, the blue checks reinstated on Saturday misleadingly display that the accounts are verified because they are subscribed to Twitter Blue, the $8 a month premium service, which replaced the free verification once given to prominent accounts to prevent misinformation and impersonation from populating the platform.

“Wait I’m crying they’re giving them for punishment now,” Chrissy Teigen tweeted, sharing another account’s exasperation at having regained the badge. After she shared that, she too received the now dreaded badge of shame. “It won’t go away,” she lamented.

Teigen then discovered a way to make it disappear. “It’s gone! OK everyone be quiet no one move,” she joked. She shared how to get rid of it with commentator Jon Favreau, who asked, “What the fuck did I do to deserve this” when he saw the blue check on his account. “Change your name and it triggers a checkmark removal. But then don’t talk about it again or you will get another,” Teigen advised him. “Im serious lol.” At press time, Teigen is still holding strong sans badge, while Favreau’s blue check remains.

Disturbingly, accounts from people who are dead — including Anthony Bourdain, Chadwick Boseman, and Kobe Bryant ­— have also received the paid blue checks, obviously without being able to consent.

The recent move to give away Twitter Blue accounts to high profile people, even if they don’t want them, is not all that surprising. The billionaire CEO recently admitted that he was “personally paying” for the Twitter Blue subscriptions for LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner.


It’s unclear what the actual cut-off is for the amount of followers an account must have to activate what seems to be an auto-subscription badge (Twitter cofounder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who has 6.5 million followers, did not have a badge at press time). However, those reporting it’s happened to their accounts appear to have more than a million followers.

There is no longer a viable way to confirm the details with Twitter now that the company functions without a press team. Emails inquiring about any new developments to the company’s press account, including one sent for this story, receive an auto-response of a single poop emoji.