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I tweet dead people: Twitter’s new paid blue ticks given to dead celebrities, including slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Last week, Elon Musk finally had his long-awaited Thanos moment for legacy verification in a quick scheduled teardown.

It’s been a busy day for the boss of Twitter and SpaceX when it comes to valuable lessons from watching billions of dollars of hard work explode.

But if Musk is to be believed (this time) after removing free verification checkmarks, everyone who has one has now “subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.”

That fact reveals Musk’s long game and true genius as he has just created the most important platform for speaking to the dead since Doris Stokes And Tyler Henry.

Among those who recently took to Twitter and shared their afterlife credit card information and phone number — +777 prefix, we assume — are celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, and Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington.

But the one that has caught the attention of many, especially in the media, is Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist and The Washington Post correspondent who was murdered and dismembered by Saudi government agents in 2018 as he entered their consulate in Istanbul, visited Turkey. , in 2018.

The The CIA concluded that the Saudi leader, Crown Prince bin Salman, had ordered the assassination.

Now it’s possible that the deceased celebrities’ legacies have signed up – the “The official King of Pop Twitter accountcontinues to tweet Michael Jackson stories to his 2.3 million followers every few days. But Bryant’s account fell silent on the day he died in January 2020. So did Bourdain’s after he took his own life in 2018.

Jamal Kashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi’s Twitter account.

Khashoggi also died almost five years ago and his account hasn’t been posted since either, so why or how would it be verified now?

But the other reason this raises eyebrows is that among the investors in Musk’s Twitter takeover deal, the second-largest shareholder is a Saudi king, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, who through his company holds a 4% stake in the social media platform. , Kingdom Holdings, worth approximately $1.9 billion at the time the deal went through in October 2022.

The prince also has a blue check mark because of his association with Kingdom Holding. Musk has a blue check mark for being linked to Twitter, his account says.

Prince Alwaleed’s account

Meanwhile, celebrities who are still alive were surprised to discover they had a blue tick, including author Stephen King, who has had repeated public clashes with Musk. At the time, Musk said he was picking up the bill for the celebrity tweeters involved.

As a lesson in pissing off your customers, it’s a masterclass.

No doubt Musk thinks he’s teaching the haters, especially LeBron James, who refused to pay.

The funny thing is that the basketball legend, normally productive on Twitter, just stopped tweeting to his nearly 53 million followers after his team told The Verge . The account has been silent for over a week. A spokesperson as James told The Verge that a Twitter employee emailed the star to “renew a free subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk”.

By doing this, Musk managed to infuriate his Muskolytes, who believed in their god king’s promise of democratic equality for all, but now discover they are making more than $8 a month while millionaire celebrities get their tap for free, kudos from the billionaire Twitter boss.

Musk has also created an entirely new marketing category, the celebrity discord.

And here’s the kicker for the man who rather who got in trouble with the US Securities Exchange Commission over “420” jokes about Teslacouldn’t find another government agency for its cause because of its 4/20 move, because giving celebs free blue ticks has the potential to violate Federal Trade Commission rules (verified on Twitter “because it’s a government or multilateral account” organization is”) around misleading recommendation.

If so, wait for a faster unscheduled teardown.

We’d ask Twitter for comment, but the man who halved the value of the social media platform in just 12 months sees himself as Jim Levenstein looking for a cake.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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