LeBron James Burns Elon Musk’s Twitter Scheme With Slam Dunk Of A Tweet
LeBron James isn’t playing ball with Twitter’s new paid verification system.
On Friday, the NBA’s all-time top scorer revealed he won’t pay for a blue check mark next to his name to verify his identity on the platform.
“Welp guess my blue [check] ... will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” the Los Angeles Lakers star tweeted to his nearly 53 million followers.
Welp guess my blue ✔️ will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5. 🤷🏾♂️
— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 31, 2023
Blue check marks used to be available to some individuals for free as part of the social media site’s efforts to combat impersonators and misinformation.
But Twitter, under the leadership of billionaire owner Elon Musk, last month announced that it would “begin winding down” the feature for previously verified account holders on Saturday, April 1, if they didn’t start paying.
The so-called Twitter Blue feature, which previously cost $4.99 per month for many users, now starts at $8 monthly.
James’ post about not “paying the 5” went viral, prompting some users to suggest the growing backlash to the paid system could see Musk nix it and declare it was an April Fools’ Day gag all along.
What an absolutely incredible failure by El*n M*sk and Twitter. You had some of the biggest celebrities in the world creating content FOR FREE, and are pissing it away because you wanted them to pay you $96 a year. And if they leave, you'll get nothing. https://t.co/yUpKbceX24
— Mike Rothschild (no relation) (@rothschildmd) April 1, 2023
— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) March 31, 2023
When you lose the president and LeBron in the same day, it's a bad day. Elon's scheme is not going to work. He has badly damaged Twitter and diminished its value greatly. Many of us will ride this out hoping for a reversal but right now, seatbelt buckled, crash position assumed. https://t.co/ayW1YLoLE0
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) March 31, 2023
53 million followers. Elon is driving away some important people. https://t.co/wEC6lJUfeA
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) March 31, 2023
after this LeBron tweet there is at least a 50/50 shot he calls the whole thing off and pretends it was an April Fool's prank https://t.co/s8E9qpE8MZ
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) April 1, 2023
Same, LeBron, same. https://t.co/mGvpfqB18T
— Cleveland 19 News (@cleveland19news) March 31, 2023
“Seinfeld” actor Jason Alexander this week vowed to quit the platform if his check mark goes.
“Without it, anyone can allege to be me. So, if I lose that [check] ... know I will leave this platform. Anyone appearing with it=an imposter. I tell you this while I’m still official,” he wrote.
Activist and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, meanwhile, asked: “In what universe is this fair to people who can suffer consequences for being impersonated? a lie travels half way around the world before truth even gets out the door.”
Axios reported Friday that President Joe Biden’s White House will not pay for staffers’ accounts to be verified, joining news organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, HuffPost and Politico.