Top India sports stars, including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and double Olympic medallist shuttler PV Sindhu, have lost the blue checkmarks that helped verify their identity on the micro-blogging site Twitter. (More Sports News)
The legacy blue checkmarks were previously granted to journalists, public officials, and celebrities for free as a measure against impersonation and spam on the social media platform.
Twitter, which was taken over by business magnate and Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year, however, removed the blue ticks from accounts that don't pay a monthly subscription for the service on Thursday.
"Tomorrow, 4/20, we are removing legacy verified checkmarks," the official Twitter Verified account had tweeted on Wednesday.
Apart from the above trio, World Cup-winning captain MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal, Neeraj Chopra and Bajrang Punia, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, two-time World Boxing Champion Nikhat Zareen, Sania Mirza, Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri, men's hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh were among a plethora of Indian sporting icons who have lost their blue ticks.
Tennis great Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe and basketball legend Stephen Curry are also no longer "verified" on the social media platform.
From now on, only individuals and organisations that pay for the premium Twitter Blue subscription will get the verified credential on their profiles.
The Twitter Blue subscription is available for a monthly fee of Rs 650 on the web and Rs 900 on mobile devices.