The White House has reportedly informed its staff members that they will need to foot the bill for Twitter's subscription service, Twitter Blue if they wish to retain their coveted blue verification checkmarks on the platform. This decision comes in light of Twitter's recent announcement that it will be discontinuing its verified programme, with blue checkmarks being removed from accounts that do not pay the monthly fee of $8. The policy change was introduced by CEO Elon Musk, who took over the reins of the social media giant.
The White House Director of Digital Strategy, Rob Flaherty, reportedly notified staffers via email that Twitter's recently launched subscription service, Twitter Blue, does not offer individual-level verification. As a result, a blue checkmark on the platform will now simply indicate that the account in question belongs to a paid user. Flaherty went on to state that staff members interested in maintaining their verification status may purchase Twitter Blue using personal funds on their personal social media accounts. Meanwhile, several news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, have reportedly opted against paying for Twitter Blue for their staff members.
According to a report by the New York Post, the White House has followed in the footsteps of high-profile individuals like NFL quarterback Patrick Mahomes and NBA star LeBron James by opting not to continue paying for Twitter's verification service. This decision came after Elon Musk, who recently took over as CEO of the microblogging site, introduced a policy allowing users to purchase a blue checkmark verification through the new subscription service, Twitter Blue. However, the move was met with warnings from Twitter's own trust and safety staff, as it resulted in the impersonation of several high-profile accounts, including those of Twitter's advertisers, as reported by The Verge. Since Musk's takeover, Twitter has been observed adding and removing separate grey checkmarks on accounts of prominent figures, without providing an explanation for these actions.