Twitter CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that all celebrities, public figures, and other ‘legacy verified’ accounts are to be stripped of their blue tick next week.
There is a catch though – they’ll get to keep it if they pay for Twitter Blue.
The social media platform first introduced the now-famous ‘blue tick’ verification symbol all the way back in 2009 – which was about three years after the site was launched – so that individuals, businesses, organisations, and accounts of notability could prove their identity.
But in recent months, after the highly-publicised takeover by multi-billionaire founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, Twitter users will have likely noticed the colour of a lot of these verification symbols for certain official accounts changing from blue to grey/silver and gold.
At the start of 2023, Twitter began rolling out a grey tick verification mark for government-related accounts, and a golden tick mark for companies.
The classic ‘blue tick’, according to a statement on the Twitter website, was then left to mean that the account was either ‘legacy verified’ – with celebrities, public figures, notable people, and accounts verified prior to changes, falling under this category – or that the account has an active subscription to Twitter Blue and meets the platform’s eligibility requirements.
Twitter Blue is what the company calls its “premium subscription service” that adds a blue tick to the account of those pay for it, and, apparently, offers early access to select features.
Twitter first confirmed that, from the start of this month, it would be “winding down” its legacy verification program, and that accounts that were verified under the previous criteria will not retain a blue checkmark unless they are subscribed to Twitter Blue – but now, Elon Musk has announced the official cut-off date.
The South African-born entrepreneur took to Twitter last night to confirm that legacy blue ticks would be officially be removed on Thursday 20 April, if the accounts are not subscribed to and meet the criteria for Twitter Blue by then.
The 51-year-old has also today sat down for a last-minute interview with the BBC, after the corporation contacted the social media giant earlier this week to query the designation of the @BBC account as ‘government funded media’, asking Twitter to resolve the issue “as soon as possible”.
“The BBC is, and always has been, independent. We are funded by the British public through the licence fee,” the broadcaster said in its statement.
Musk told BBC North America tech reporter, James Clayton, in his televised interview this morning that he doesn’t want Twitter to amplify “some anointed class of journalists” who determine what constitutes news, adding that he is “hopeful this can be more a case of the public choosing the narrative, as opposed to the media choosing the narrative.
The Twitter CEO confirmed they would be adjusting the label for the BBC to “publicly-funded”, as the company is “trying to be accurate”.
He also told James Clayton that he actually does “have a lot of respect for the BBC,” and admitted that the interview was “a good opportunity to ask some questions” and “to get some feedback on what we should be doing different”.
Half-naked belly slides and cuddles with Elton John – the wild and wonderful Manchester City celebrations
There ain’t no party like a Manchester City party, it seems, with some big celebrations last night following the club’s FA Cup victory against Manchester United.
Players were seen swigging beers in their pants while other staff at the club did belly slides through the dressing room at Wembley.
And then, weirdly, they were congratulated by Sir Elton John himself, who offered hugs to every player in turn.
If you’re going to look anywhere for the Manchester City post-match party scenes, it’s straight to Jack Grealish, who always seems to be at the heart of the chaos (who could forget his antics at the parade last year?)
On his Instagram stories, Grealish nicely summed up the celebrations in the dressing room after their 2-1 victory.
He showed the players singing along to Wonderwall by Oasis and swigging Asahi, saying to the camera ‘Get it down ya!’.
Then he cuts to a video of Brandon Ashton, Man City’s kitman, doing topless belly slides across the floor.
At one point, Ederson (wearing a blue afro wig) is seen lubricating the floor with more Asahi, like some weird beer-soaked version of Curling.
Egged on by Erling Haaland and John Stones, Brandon strips down to his underwear and keeps sliding around, at one point travelling all the way under the benches, at which point Grealish hilariously shouts: “Oi, watch my Gucci bag, f***ing hell!”
Once the dressing room party was over, it was off to the airport, where the entire team ambushed none other than Sir Elton John.
On the strangely star-studded runway, the legendary musician – who had just finished his third gig at the AO Arena – stood in position offering hugs to each Man City player in turn.
Videos shared by the club show the bewildered Kevin de Bruyne, Manuel Akanji, Kyle Walker, Nathan Ake, and Julian Alvarez each taking turns for a cuddle, while Phil Foden stopped to take a selfie with the rock music great.
Then the lads all surround Elton to serenade him with his own iconic song, Your Song.
The surreal videos even captured the moment Pep Guardiola is left awkwardly hanging with his hand up when he offers Elton a high-five.
There’s now just one week to go until the Champions League final, when Manchester City will seek to cinch the treble.
Featured image: Instagram, Manchester City
Liam Gallagher apologises on Noel’s behalf for brother’s ‘p*ss poor’ Joy Division cover
Liam Gallagher has issued an apology “on behalf of [his] family” for his brother’s cover of a song by another legendary Manchester band.
Stop the presses, breaking news – the Gallagher brothers are slagging each other off again.
In what will be a shock to absolutely no one, Liam Gallagher has hopped onto his favourite social media platform Twitter once again this week to take another unprovoked aim at his beloved older brother – and this time, call him out for his recent cover of the iconic 1980 hit ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ by fellow Manchester band Joy Division.
Noel Gallagher recently performed a rendition of the Joy Division classic on BBC Radio 2 as part of the radio station’s popular Piano Room series, and was accompanied by his band, High Flying Birds, for the track, alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra.
The former Oasis co-lead vocalist and guitarist explained that he had chosen to cover the song as he would often play “this version of it at home down the years”.
But Noel did reveal to host Vernon Kay that he was cautious about doing so, and went on to express some initial trepidation about performing his rendition and putting it out into the world, mainly because “it’s such an iconic song, and being from Manchester… well, this is going to be tricky.”
The 56-year-old admitted he kept asking himself “How can I get away with that?”
He continued: “But now I’ve got my own studio, I went and did a little demo of it and I was like ‘you know what? I think I might be able to pull this off.”
One person who clearly didn’t think Noel could “pull this off” was his brother Liam, though.
Reacting to the cover in typical Liam Gallagher fashion, the former Oasis frontman wrote in a now-viral tweet yesterday evening: “I must once again apologise on behalf of my family for r kid’s p*ss poor and damn rite blasphemous version of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart.
“Tut f***ing tut SORRY.”
And unfortunately for Noel, the comments underneath BBC Radio 2’s post of a snippet of the cover on its official Instagram account appears to show that a fair few others agree with Liam on this one.
“If you wanna win a race, choose NG as a competitor. The only one that’s been able to destroy Oasis, his band, the music. Terrible cover,” one person wrote.
“That’s a terrible terrible cover,” another person simply stated.
A third wrote in the comments: “Kinda sounds boring doesn’t it? I love Noel, but this cover ain’t it chief,” while a fourth added: “I hope he realise by himself that this is one of his worst covers ever,” and another, at least politely, claimed it was: “Definitely a bit different to the original.”