Confusion as Musk’s Twitter yanks blue checks from agencies

April 22, 2023 -CHICAGO (AP) — Twitter has long been a way for people to keep track of tornado watches, train delays, news alerts or the latest crime warnings from their local police department.

But when the Elon Musk-owned platform started stripping blue verification check marks this week from accounts that don’t pay a monthly fee, it left public agencies and other organizations around the world scrambling to figure out a way to show they’re trustworthy and avoid impersonators.

High-profile users who lost their blue checks Thursday included Beyoncé, Pope Francis, Oprah Winfrey and former President Donald Trump. But checks were also removed from accounts for major transit systems from San Francisco to Paris, national parks like Yosemite, official weather trackers and some elected officials.

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Twitter had roughly 400,000 verified users under the original blue-check system. In the past, the checks meant that Twitter had verified that users were who they said they were.

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