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Elon Musk is rewarding accounts with a large number of verified followers with free Premium and Premium Plus benefits on X. However, not all users are pleased with their new special status and are making it clear they did not pay for it. The blue check mark has become the butt of jokes on the platform.

Last week, Musk announced that users with more than 2,500 paying followers would receive free Premium access, which comes with reduced ads and other advantages. Those with more than 5,000 such followers would be given free Premium Plus, a more expensive tier that eliminates ads, among other benefits.

Formerly, the blue check mark was a sought-after status symbol awarded to verified high-profile users such as journalists, celebrities, politicians, and official agencies. After Musk’s takeover in 2022, users’ blue check marks disappeared and became a badge anyone could purchase. This change made it difficult for users to identify authentic accounts, resulting in misinformation proliferating on X under Musk’s leadership.

Wednesday’s return of the free blue check prompted a flurry of jokes on the platform. Accounts that received the badge showed that it was not solely given to accounts affiliated with notable figures. Some users defended themselves on Twitter, stating that they did not pay for the badge. The platform is popular among journalists, although some do not appear enthusiastic about their new status. Other users expressed relief at not having received the badge yet while some are excited about their new badge while others just want it removed.

Musk’s decision to give away blue check marks has sparked criticism from some users who feel like their hard work has been undervalued by being handed out for free instead of being earned through merit or paid for directly by them.

The lack of transparency surrounding how Musk determines which accounts receive these rewards has also raised concerns about bias and fairness within the platform’s community.

Overall, while many are excited about receiving this perk from Musk’s company X, there are also those who feel that their hard work should be recognized through more meaningful ways than simply being handed out without any effort or cost involved.

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