William Shatner Is Calling Out Elon Musk About Twitter’s Newest Change
William Shatner called Elon Musk out for charging for blue check marks on Twitter.
It’s been five months to the day since Elon Musk bought Twitter, a purchase that somehow made the tech billionaire even more unpopular than he already was. While many celebrities, like Elton John and Jim Carrey, have publicly announced their dismissal of the social media platform following the many changes Musk has been making, others, like William Shatner, have stuck around to tweet their complaints at the Tesla founder. In particular, Shatner called out Musk to chastise the changes Twitter is making to the little blue check mark that goes by verified individuals’ names on their accounts.
In his tweet, William Shatner atted Elon Musk, asking him what the deal was with the changes being made to the little blue verification check marks. What the Star Trek legend was referring to is how the verified checkmarks that were once reserved for confirmed celebrities, public figures, media members, etc., will soon be available to anyone willing to pay an $8 subscription fee for Twitter Blue. Shatner, who is one of the most famous celebrities in the world, is clearly displeased at the information that he will soon have to start paying for something that he received for free for more than a decade.
In response, Elon Musk replied to William Shatner, saying that the point of the Twitter Blue subscription service is equality, “There shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities.” While Musk’s comment might seem admirable, it’s in direct contrast to what the tech billionaire said a few months ago when famed horror writer Stephen King spoke out about the checkmark change.
Soon after Elon Musk took over the social platform, rumors spread that Twitter would be charging $20 per month for the verification mark, something that seemed to really tick King off. “F**k that,” the It writer wrote, “If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron.” In response, Musk wrote, “We need to pay the bills somehow!”
While the now-reported $8 per month fee is much less than the original $20 subscription charge, it’s apparently not low enough to appease Mr. William Shatner, who would prefer the old price of free-99.
Whether Elon Musk is charging for blue checkmarks for equality or to fatten his paycheck, William Shatner is not a fan of the idea, and neither are a bunch of other people who are afraid of the negative repercussions Twitter Blue might cause. Monica Lewinsky (yep, the Monica Lewinsky) is an anti-bullying activist and writer who has more than a million followers on Twitter. In response to the blue check mark saga, she posted screenshots of several fake accounts impersonating her, some of which had managed to get verified under Twitter’s new system.
“[I]n what universe is this fair to people who can suffer consequences for being impersonated?” Lewinsky said, putting a spotlight on the dangers of paid-for verification.
Legacy checkmarks (what Twitter is calling the old confirmation sigils handed out before Twitter Blue was enacted) are set to disappear entirely by April 1, leaving only the Twitter Blue subscribers as verified. However, as some have pointed out, April 1 is April Fool’s Day, and Elon Musk has been known to partake in April Fool’s pranks (like that time he said Tesla had gone bankrupt). So, maybe William Shatner will get lucky, and this will all be one big, elaborate (and pretty stupid) joke, and he’ll get to keep his free verification anyway.