Elon Musk-led Twitter’s paid blue tick verification badge has found some takers among Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban.
What Happened: Two Taliban officials and four of the militia’s prominent supporters are using the $8 blue checkmarks, reported BBC.
Hedayatullah Hedayat, the head of the Taliban’s “access to information” department has a blue tick on his profile. While the verification badge was removed last month, it had been returned, according to the report.
Another prominent Taliban user of the paid service is reportedly Abdul Haq Hammad, an official at the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture.
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Why It Matters: At the time of writing when Benzinga checked Hedayat’s account, the blue verification mark was missing. He has close to 188,000 followers on the platform.
Hammad, who describes himself as an “Islamic Scholar,” on Twitter also did not have a blue tick on his account at the time of writing. Additionally, a warning was visible on his account which read “This profile may include potentially sensitive content.”
Prominent supporters of the Taliban have also reportedly acquired the blue tick mark. Muhammad Jalal, who previously said he was a Taliban official, praised Musk saying he was “making Twitter great again.”
Jalal describes himself as an “ordinary Afghan & peacemaker” currently on his Twitter bio and has a following of 85,500.
Musk rolled out the paid Twitter blue subscriptions in November that allow users to see fewer ads and post longer videos along with the verification. The legacy blue tick was assigned to prominent accounts gratis.