Why did Musk choose April 20 to remove the blue verification marks from Twitter?

Musk to remove the blue verification badges on Twitter

Elon Musk, who owns Twitter, followed through on his warning to remove the blue verification checkmark from accounts that didn’t pay the $8 monthly fee.

The deadline set by Elon Musk for free retention of the old blue mark has ended yesterday, i.e., Thursday, April 20. To keep the mark for free, the authentication needs to be removed from any account whose owner did not pay the monthly subscription fee.

The golden mark that indicates the account belongs to an organization and the silver authentication mark that indicates the account represents a government agency have not changed. Only the other authentication marks in different colors have been updated.

Blue tick victims

Many celebrities, including Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah and Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, had their blue verification badges removed from their Twitter accounts due to a new policy by Mask. The media has been reporting on this.

The accounts of Ronaldo and Salah don’t have the blue verification badge despite having 108 million and more than 18 million followers respectively.

Ronaldo's Twitter account
Ronaldo’s Twitter account after removing the verification tag

Riyad Mahrez, a winger for Manchester City and a member of the Algerian national team, as well as Kylian Mbappe, a star player for the French national team and Paris Saint-Germain, have both lost their verified badges on social media. Lewis Hamilton, a British Formula 1 driver, has also lost his verified badge.

The decision involved both Pope Francis, who has a following of 18.8 million people, and former US President Donald Trump. Trump had his account banned before due to violations of the platform’s regulations, but was recently allowed back on.

The list mentioned several celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé. Additionally, the list also included wealthy individuals from the technology industry, specifically US billionaire Bill Gates and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who withdrew from the list.

Media and government institutions

Several officials had their blue verification mark removed from their accounts on the political side, but some of them received the gray verification mark that is intended for government accounts or organizations. This includes Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Twitter recently reversed its decision to label large media accounts as “state-related media” or “state-funded media” in light of recent changes on the platform.

BBC Twitter
The BBC complained last week after Twitter put a tag describing it as “government funded

Twitter removed the labels from several prominent pages, including those of major media outlets from Western countries, Russia, China and other countries that used to have them. This change came after Twitter reviewed the labels and decided to do away with them. One of the affected media organizations was the BBC, which had complained about being tagged as “government funded” by Twitter. Other affected media organizations included Russia Today and the American public radio station NBR in the United States.

A dispute between Twitter and several media outlets regarding the description of Twitter accounts has led to these recent developments.

Recently, news organizations stopped using Twitter because they were labeled as “government-funded,” which they felt was untrue and damaged their reputation for being impartial news sources.

Last week, the BBC expressed its dissatisfaction with Twitter for labeling it as “government-funded” instead of “publicly funded.”

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, explained that his platform is striving for accuracy by making adjustments. The main purpose of this measure was to bring attention to accounts connected with state media or government officials, especially those pertaining to China and Russia.

The secret date of April 20th?

The announcement regarding the removal of blue check marks and celebrity accounts has caused a lot of commotion, but there are concerns about why April 20 was chosen as the implementation date.

It appears that Musk chose this particular date for a specific reason since he has a fondness for the number “420,” which he considers lucky or has a mystical quality to it. He reportedly uses it for important financial transactions.

The eccentric businessman bought Twitter at a price of $54.20 per share, which caused a stir in the business community and Silicon Valley.

It could be argued that the reappearance of this figure is not just a coincidence, as it also appeared four years ago when Musk had offered to buy out Tesla for $420 per share and take it private, claiming to have secured funding at the time.

To ascertain whether it is coincidental, there needs to be a context or relevance attached to this number, such as how 420 has a connection to the marijuana or cannabis culture in the US, where April 20th or 20-4 is commonly referred to as “Weed Day”.

It has become customary to consume marijuana on April 20th at 4:20 AM or PM, which is a designated time for cannabis enthusiasts.

In 1971, a group of famous teenagers from Marin County, California started a tradition. Musk, who was a California resident until recently, caused controversy when he publically smoked marijuana during a podcast with Joe Rogan in September 2018.