Twitter has automatically verified users with a large number of followers, including dead celebrities, and has added a banner falsely claiming that the deceased users subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone numbers.
Deceased celebrities like Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, chef Anthony Bourdain, and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were all verified with a blue tick. All of them have over one million Twitter followers, and a banner on their profiles falsely claimed they had subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.
Twitter’s system of verifying celebrity or notable users with a blue tick for free came to an end in April. Moving forward, users who wish to be verified will have to pay for a Twitter Blue subscription and submit their phone number.
A Blue subscription in India currently costs ₹9,400 per year when signing up via Android.
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Twitter CEO Elon Musk previously said he was paying for novelist Stephen King, basketball player LeBron James, and actor William Shatner to keep their verification via Twitter Blue.
Mr. King suggested that Mr. Musk donate the money to Ukraine instead.