Twitter’s legacy blue checkmarks began to disappear this week for notable figures, including celebrities, politicians and journalists, as the social media platform moved over to its Twitter Blue subscription service. Users have to pay $8 per month to stay verified.

However, three celebrities were apparently able to keep their checkmarks without the fee because Twitter CEO Elon Musk said he’s paying for them.


On Thursday, Stephen King discovered he still had his checkmark. The author had previously criticized Musk’s plan to make people pay for verification, stating, “If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.” In response to staying verified, he tweeted, “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.”


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Musk replied, “You’re welcome namaste.”

King isn’t the only celebrity who kept their checkmark. Last month, basketball star LeBron James tweeted that he wouldn’t be paying for the checkmark, but he still has it after Thursday. The Verge also reported that Twitter had sent James an email that stated the company would “extend a complimentary subscription to Twitter Blue for your account, @kingjames, on behalf of Elon Musk.”

A pop culture site tweeted that Musk was “personally paying” for some celebrities’ Twitter Blue subscriptions. Musk replied: “Just Shatner [the actor], LeBron and King.”

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