Twitter has removed accounts with verified legacy badges belonging to public organizations and high-profile users.
The platform had initially said it would wind down the system on April 1, 2023, but the date passed and nothing happened. Then last week, CEO Elon Musk announced a new date of April 20.
As of early Thursday afternoon, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian had lost their check marks. Prominent TV personalities such as CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow lost theirs as well.
Public figures relating to all sectors of society, from Bill Gates to Pope Francis, also lost their checks.
U.S. congressional representatives appear to still have the gray government check mark on their official accounts, while some — such as Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Brian Mast and Ilhan Omar — have lost verification on their personal accounts. Others, like Marjorie Taylor Greene, still have the blue check on their personal accounts.
As the removal process was underway on Thursday, some users reported confusing glitches — they saw their blue check marks disappear, then reappear, only to disappear once again.
The removal of the check marks is the latest step by Musk to remake Twitter since buying the platform in October for $44 billion, casting himself as the steward of an essential public forum while driving off some of the well-known people who used it.
The move has already prompted fears that Twitter users will have one less tool to distinguish known sources from impersonators or hoaxes.