Elon Musk's X is giving some people a free blue checkmark, and they aren't all pleased about it

X app on iPhone
(Image credit: Future)

X CEO Elon Musk announced last month that the social network would giving away free X Premium features, including verified checkmarks, to anyone who met a specific criteria in relation to their follower counts. Now, that change has started to roll out — and not everyone is happy about it.

The move means that anyone who has more than 2,500 verified subscriber followers will now get X Premium for free while. Anyone who has more than 5,000 verified subscriber followers will receive X Premium Plus for free instead, Musk also confirmed.

But so far a number of people who have been given the free checkmark have taken to the social network to complain about the move. Some have even gone so far as to ask if there is a way to decline the offer with others worried that people will think that they willingly gave X money for their checkmark.

The joy of x

There have been reports that X Premium subscription numbers might not be quite as high as the company would like, and it's as-yet unclear why Musk has taken the decision to start giving it away for free — unless he's hoping that high-profile accounts with blue checkmarks will encourage new subscribers.

If that's the case, he might have misread the situation.

There doesn't yet appear to be a way to decline the freebie.

According to a screenshot of a message shared by one of those who have now been upgraded to X Premium, the social network says that it "reserves the right to cancel the complimentary subscription."

Some recipients will presumably hope X does just that sooner rather than later.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.