U-turn as Twitter users with over 1 million followers get blue badges back

Twitter users with more than one million followers have their blue verification badge back.

Some of Kenya's most-followed people including  Narc leader Martha Karua, Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Azimio Spokesperson Makau Mutua and CNN Journalist Larry Madowo on Sunday woke up with their badges back.'

Media houses; The Star, Citizen News and Kenyans also got their blue verification badge back.

Former US President Donald Trump, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Footballer Christiano Ronaldo and musician Beyonce, CNN journalist Larry Madowo who had lost their badges also  got them back.

On Friday, some Twitter users suffered a blow after owner Elon Musk removed the blue verification badge after they failed to pay a monthly subscription fee of Sh972 ($8) for Twitter Blue.

The move saw some politicians, celebrities, media companies and journalists lose their badges.

Several Twitter users had objected to the changes fearing the new requirements would encourage the spread of misinformation and fake news.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua was among the first people to lose their verification badge on April 9.

The platform announced last year, that users will now pay a monthly fee under Twitter Blue to have the badge (blue checkmark).

"On April 1, we will begin winding down our legacy verified program and removing legacy verified checkmarks," Twitter said.

Originally, a verified Twitter account meant the owner of the account would send information to the public.

For public figures, their tweets in many instances have been a source of news for many media outlets.

Going forward, Twitter users who want the verification mark will now have to reapply under Twitter Blue.

Under Twitter Blue, subscribers will enjoy priorities in replies, mentions and searches, which Musk said was essential to defeat spam/scams.

They will also be able to post long videos and audio and get half as many adverts.

"There will also be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians," Musk said.

Twitter’s verification which is denoted by a blue check next to the name of the user’s handle, was launched in 2009. This was three years after the launch of the site.

According to the Independent, it was first introduced after baseball legend Tony La Russa filed a lawsuit against Twitter in 2009 over an impersonator.

The idea of verification was that it could prove the identity of a user.

Musk announced a subscription fee of Sh972 ($8) per month for one to get the verification.

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