A few days ago, Twitter began removing the blue badge from accounts that were verified before Elon Musk owned the company. Now, any user, regardless of whether they are relevant (like a celebrity or other public figure) or not, must pay for Blue to get verified; except for a few exceptions. Elon Musk, in fact, is paying verification to different celebrities without them asking for it, including several who have passed away.
On Twitter, for example, the Kobe Bryant official account has the famous blue badge because it is subscribed to Blue and has “verified your phone number”. All this, despite the fact that the basketball player died in 2020 and, apparently, no family member or representative manages the profile.
There are other deceased celebrities who have also been verified again after Twitter removed the badge from all accounts not subscribed to Blue on April 20. Among them, Michael Jackson, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Walker, Barbara Walters and Anthony Bourdain or the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was assassinated in 2018. The same message appears on all these profiles: “This account is verified because the user is subscribed to Twitter Blue and has verified his phone number.”
Paul Walker, Kobe Bryant and other dead celebrities are verified by being subscribed to Twitter Blue
Neither Twitter nor Elon Musk have confirmed anything in this regard, although the tycoon stressed that, personally, you are paying for some Blue subscriptions. For example, Stephen King or LeBron James are verified without asking or paying for it. Both also publicly confirmed that they had no intention of signing up for Blue and did not want verification.
In fact, everything indicates that Twitter is returning verification to those accounts with more than 1 million followers. Celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga or Adele lost the badge on April 20, but now they have recovered it.
Verifying accounts of deceased characters, however, is much stranger than simply verifying living users with over 1 million followers. Mostly, because the badge shows that they are subscribed to Blue and have verified a phone number. Instead of, for example, putting that they are relevant characters who have passed away. Or any other message that doesn’t imply that they have subscribed to Blue from the grave.