The verified “blue check” for senior Taliban officials on Twitter appears to have been revoked following media reports that they paid the social media site’s $8 monthly subscription fee for the verified status.
Two officials with the Taliban subscribed to the Twitter Blue service, a monthly service offered after new owner Elon Musk took over the social media platform, the New York Post reported.
The BBC reported earlier Tuesday that Taliban officials Abdul Haq Hammad, the top media official at the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, and Hedayatullah Hedayat, the head of the Taliban’s department for “access to information,” paid for the blue check.
Some Taliban supporters also acquired the blue check, though the symbol was not visible on their account pages. After the report, their verified status disappeared, the Post reported.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Twitter.
The Taliban, which took over Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of American forces, has long used Twitter, though officials were never verified.
“Interestingly, Taliban praises Elon Musk for verifying their accounts and even they say Elon is originally Afghan, from Logar province. Congratulations Elon!” tweeted Tajuden Soroush, an Afghan journalist who lives in London.
Before Musk purchased Twitter in a $44 billion acquisition, check marks were given to certain accounts to verify their status as journalists, public figures, elected officials, celebrities and other prominent figures.
After the purchase, Musk introduced Twitter Blue, which allows users to pay $8 per month in exchange for a blue checkmark.
The move got off to a rough start as pranksters began creating accounts of political leaders and sports stars while posting incendiary tweets.