Taliban buys Elon Musk’s $8 blue ticks on Twitter

As of Tuesday, the accounts no longer carried the blue check marks (Picture: Reuters)

Twitter’s new paid-for verification service has been a hit among a number of controversial users including the Taliban.

At least two Taliban officials had reportedly paid the new $8 fee for a shiny new verification check mark on their accounts.

The head of the Taliban’s department for ‘access to information’, Hedayatullah Hedayat’s account was seen sporting a blue tick.

Abdul Haq Hammad, head of the media watchdog at the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, also had a blue tick on his account which has 170,000 followers.

Additionally, four prominent Taliban supporters in Afghanistan were found to be using the checkmarks. Prominent Taliban supporters had acquired the blue tick as well.

Muhammad Jalal, who previously identified as a Taliban official, praised the new owner of Twitter on Monday, declaring that Elon Musk was ‘making Twitter great again’.

However, as of Tuesday both the accounts no longer carried the blue check marks.

The removal of the verification marks seems to have followed users’ outrage at Afghanistan’s hardline Islamist rulers being given the blue tick.

In November, Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk announced a new £8 per month Twitter Blue subscription that included a verification feature. The feature was eventually rolled out in December.

The service costs £8 per month, with an increased fee of £11 on Apple’s iOS devices.

Subscribers to Twitter Blue benefit from ‘priority ranking in search, mentions, and replies’ to help fight spam and bots.

After their return to power in Kabul in August 2021, the group took over verified accounts run by the previous administration, including the Afghanistan Cricket Board.

The sporting body’s account now carries a gold tick which indicates businesses, while grey ones are for other users, such as governing authorities.

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