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Why is Twitter restoring verifications to deceased celebrities?

Answer: No one really seems to know.

Closeup of a finger about to tap the Twitter app on a touchscreen.
There were several new developments with Twitter’s chaotic rollback of verification check marks over the weekend. After the platform removed the blue checks last week on accounts that weren’t subscribed to its paid service, Twitter Blue, it was revealed that CEO Elon Musk was paying for Twitter Blue for certain celebrities who had publicly criticized the decision to make the marks a paid service and said they wouldn’t cough up, such as Stephen King and LeBron James.

That, as you might expect, did not go over well with those celebrities or their significant number of followers. So Twitter responded by restoring the blue check marks to a whole host of celebrity accounts that had previously had them (while unconfirmed, it appears this was done based on how many followers the accounts had, with the mark being restored for those with a million or more).

But of course, with Twitter being what it is now, there was a problem with this too. It appears the platform did not take into consideration whether those accounts belonged to living celebrities. A number of deceased stars including Michael Jackson, Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, Barbara Walters, Anthony Bourdain and Jamal Khashoggi had their marks restored, even if the account had been inactive for years (some, like Boseman’s, were being maintained by foundations). And to make matters worse, some users have started questioning if giving these marks to celebrities who don’t pay for or promote them is technically illegal.