Beyonce, Kim Kardashian lose Twitter's legacy blue tick

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Twitter has started removing legacy blue tick marks from user profiles, with pop icon Beyonce and American reality star Kim Kardashian losing their verified statuses.

However, some personalities such as basketball star LeBron James and author Stephen King still had their checkmarks.

The Shining author King, who has previously called Musk a terrible fit for Twitter, tweeted: "My Twitter account says I've subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven't. My Twitter account says I've given a phone number. I haven't."

Musk tweeted back to him: "You're welcome namaste," with a hands-folded emoji.

The Verge reported that James, who has previously said he would not pay for verification, had not paid to keep the blue tick.

Musk tweeted separately: "I'm paying for a few personally." And, later tweeted, "Just Shatner, LeBron and King," referring to Star Trek actor William Shatner, who had last month complained about being forced to pay to keep his tick mark.

Among those losing their badges were football star Cristiano Ronaldo, former US president Donald Trump and Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates.

Under Musk's ownership, Twitter has changed how it hands out the coveted blue tick marks that were earlier given to noted individuals, journalists, executives, politicians and establishments after verifying their identities. They served as a mark of authenticity.

Musk said in November that Twitter will begin charging $8 per month for the badge in an effort to launch new revenue streams beyond advertising.

The company later offered tick marks in other colours - gold for businesses and gray for government and multilateral organisations and officials.

It has also started displaying labels like "state-affiliated" and "automated by" against accounts to show when an account is linked to a government or is a bot.

US non-profit National Public Radio (NPR) stopped posting content on its 52 official Twitter feeds after Twitter labeled it "state-affiliated media" and later "government-funded media".

Public broadcaster Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) also paused its activities on Twitter and sparred with Musk over Twitter's definition of government-funded.

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