- Twitter has added verified checks to accounts of deceased celebrities to promote Twitter Blue subscriptions.
- Kobe Bryant, Anthony Bourdain, Chadwick Boseman, and Michael Jackson all received a posthumous check.
- Their accounts said they had purchased a Twitter Blue subscription and verified their phone numbers.
Dead celebrities are the latest to befriend Twitter Blue — at least according to verification badges applied to their profiles.
Kobe Bryant, Norm MacDonald, Anthony Bourdain, Chadwick Boseman and Michael Jackson were among the celebrities who each received a posthumous blue check added to their Twitter accounts as the site began purging old checks on Thursday, focusing on showing checks only to profiles who They pay for the subscription service.
The former Bozeman manager and attorney for the Bryant family did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Although Musk didn’t mention the accounts of deceased celebrities with the badge online, he did appear to acknowledge reports that he had mocked leaders of #BlockTheBlue, a viral Twitter campaign to silence Twitter Blue subscribers by blocking them. In a tweet in response to reports that he gave the leaders of the anti-Blue Verified movement their own badges, he said books With a laughing emoji: “You troll, me??”
On their profiles, as of Saturday night, the badge clearly indicates that the deceased celebrity signed up for Twitter Blue and verified their phone numbers. While someone controlling celebrity ownership could, in theory, verify celebrities, accounts like Bourdain have been dormant in the years since their deaths, with the only change being a Verified Blue badge.
According to a report before techcrunch, Twitter Blue’s relaunch — featuring perks such as an edit button and a new “Verified” badge, previously seen by the public as a celebrity status symbol and now available for purchase by anyone — was “disappointing,” with the social media platform just earning $11 million. in mobile subscriptions since Musk brought it back in December.
Twitter Blue, which is available for $8 per month, has attracted quite a few new subscribers since its relaunch — according to Twitter. estimates By programmer Travis Browne Fewer than 600,000 accounts pay for the service. And while campaigns have appeared to ban people with paid verification badges on the site, the celebrity endorsements appear to have been an attempt to market the unpopular service, as users expected.
However, posthumous Twitter Blue badges may run afoul of laws protecting consumers from false endorsements. in California Civil Code 3344.1any person who uses the name, voice, signature, or the like of a deceased character – in any way – for the purposes of advertising or selling products, goods, or services, without the consent of the person, shall be liable for $750 or the amount of actual damages incurred, whichever is greater.
“Given that a blue check states that someone is subscribed to Twitter Blue and is paying for a product, adding that to large accounts may constitute a deceptive business practice,” chirpadding, “Anyone given this without their consent could have grounds to file a false endorsement claim. That would be separate from the FTC’s investigation of deceptive business practices.”
The press email on Twitter automatically responded with a poop emoji to Insider’s request for comment. Musk did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
Watch now: Popular Insider Inc. Videos.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”