Legendary book author Stephen King has gone back and forth with Twitter CEO Elon Musk for a while now.
However, King is still on Twitter and has a blue checkmark on his profile without paying the subscription fee.
King isn’t a fan of Elon Musk’s changes to the Twitter platform, especially the revamped blue checkmark verification, previously granted to high-profile users and accounts of public interest.
In March, Twitter announced that legacy blue check marks would be removed starting on April 1. However, they weren’t removed until the 20th of April.
The only way to acquire a blue checkmark would be through a paid Twitter Blue subscription, which led many celebrities, including King, to revolt.
King was among the few celebrities, along with Lebron James, who was gifted a Twitter Blue subscription despite declaring they would not pay the $8 monthly fee.
Why Stephen King won’t leave ‘strange’ Twitter
In an interview with Slate, King explained why he won’t leave the social media platform.
When asked about the changes since Musk took over, the author said there are now tweets from people on his feed that he doesn’t follow.
“Yeah, it’s gotten very strange. You know, there are a lot of people that I don’t follow who are now part of my Twitter feed. I don’t mind. I don’t block them. I think I want to know what they’re doing,” he said before giving conservative politicians as examples of the people who he doesn’t follow.
He also confirmed that he will remain on Twitter and will not be scared away but added that he doesn’t tweet as much as he used to.
Stephen King and Elon Musk argue over the blue checkmark
King made it clear he didn’t want Elon Musk’s charitable blue checkmark on his Twitter profile and told the Tesla CEO to give it to a foundation supporting Ukraine instead.
“I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only $8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more,” the author tweeted.
Musk responded by writing, “I’ve donated $100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated? (We turned down the DoD money btw).”
Musk referenced how his SpaceX organization has taken financial losses by continuing to fund its Starlink service in Ukraine despite declining money from the Department of Defense.
According to CNN, in October Musk said that SpaceX could no longer pay for its satellite services in Ukraine and estimated the cost will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.
He requested that the United States Department of Defense chip in tens of millions of dollars per month. However, based on his response to King, he has continued to fund the Starlink service.