X is giving blue checks to people with more than 2,500 Premium followers

Last night, several famous journalists and others has been sent (complained many times) about their unexpected return certified blue checks on Elon Musk’s X platform. One of them, Peter Kafka, shared a message from X indicating that the upgrade was no accident.

“As a member of the X community, we have offered you a free subscription to X Premium subject to the X Premium Terms by opting for this notification,” it says.

A follow-up post from X explained it further: Any accounts with more than 2,500 confirmed users (ie, Premium or Premium+ paid subscribers) get the Premium feature for free, and any more than 5,000 get the promotion. Premium + sharealso free.

Before this, the only users who got free blue Premium checks were those with big numbers (in lives, at least), along with celebrities and companies/media companies. The new move appears to be a way to bring popular users with a small following (mainly journalists) into the fold.

So what caused this? X probably thought it needed more journalists with blue checks. After recent events (Taiwan earthquake, Turkish elections, Baltimore bridge collapse), some users complained that X is no longer the news platform that Twitter used to be.

This is because journalists, who find or amplify such stories, will see less popularity as X’s algorithms amplify the content out of the blue and respond. This means that an inexperienced or shitcoin marketer with 25 followers who paid 8 bucks will respond well, instead of an experienced reporter who can provide useful, true information.

With the blue check now being a symbol of shame in most cases, a fair number of readers who have also found one are not happy about it. “Shit, I’ve been under pressure. How can I get out,” wrote @emptywheel. “No,” said Katie Notopoulos. “I’ve been a bluecheck, shibacoin promoter.”

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