April 1st marked the official deadline for verified Twitter users to pay for Twitter Blue in order to keep their blue check mark verification with their account.
Many celebrities and news organizations have vowed to not pay for Twitter Blue to maintain their verification. While many legacy verification accounts still have their check marks, the system has begun removing them from accounts without a subscription to the paid service.
LeBron James, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The White House are just a handful of verified accounts that have made public statements about their refusal to pay for the service; The New York Times has since lost its checkmark.
No one working for Twitter had planned for a mass deletion of verifications, so removing the legacy verifications may take a while, as employees need to remove each one manually.
In Twitter’s new “For You” section, the platform has updated the way it ranks content within the section. Developers have begun identifying certain accounts as Democrat or Republican as a means of teaching whether algorithm changes were affecting one group disproportionately over another.
Musk’s own Twitter account has its own special type of coding that many users have reported making it so his tweets are more widely viewed by users on the platform.
Apart from these changes, many users have also noticed that Twitter is making content with certain words harder to see, such as “trans” or “transgender,” with users reporting that when tweets containing those words are sent to a user via direct message, the message won’t preview the tweet in the new messages section.
This type of “shadow banning” for certain words are causing users to speak out against the changes, stating they’ve been put in place to limit just how much free speech users are actually allowed to have on the platform.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.