Musk admits to paying Twitter blue fees to celebrities who boycotted the controversial tax

Elon Musk has said he is “personally” paying for Twitter Blue subscriptions for some celebrities who declined to sign up.

The Twitter boss confirmed that he is paying for the accounts of William Shatner, Stephen King and LeBron James to have their blue tick verification badges.

“I’m paying for some personally,” the Twitter CEO tweeted in response to a claim by T(w)itter Daily News that “some celebrities have been offered a free subscription to Twitter Blue ‘in the name of Elon Musk.’”

“Just Shatner, LeBron and King,” the billionaire tweeted on Friday.

The three famous personalities are also high-profile critics of blue tick fares, and have previously tweeted, complaining about the move.

“Well I guess my blue tick will be gone soon because if you know me I’m not going to pay the 5,” the basketball legend said last month.

Twitter removed the blue checkmarks given to accounts run by notable individuals and organizations on Thursday in a bid to get more people to sign up for the new Twitter Blue subscription service. The service costs $8 per month and several celebrities have publicly said that they are not interested in paying for it.

But even though they didn’t pay, some people’s blue marks didn’t go away on Thursday.

“My Twitter account says I signed up for Twitter Blue,” wrote author Stephen King, a high-profile critic of Twitter’s owner. “I have not done it. My Twitter account says that I have given a phone number. I don’t.

“You’re welcome, namaste,” Musk responded.

The removal of verification status comes just weeks after Musk wrote in a leaked memo that the value of the social media platform has plummeted and is now worth less than half of the $44 billion he paid for it. Musk has also fired most of the company’s employees. In December, he said there are currently 2,000 people working for Twitter compared to 7,500.

Challenges on Twitter aren’t the only negative press Musk faces. Early Thursday morning, Musk’s SpaceX launched a rocket from a beach in South Texas that exploded after just a few minutes of flight. The launch failure blanketed the city of Port Isabel, Texas with particulate matter and may also have serious effects on wildlife and the environmental health of the region in general.

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