Stephen King isn't having it with Elon Musk's proposed Twitter verification fees.
Elon Musk attends Heidi Klum's 21st annual Halloween party at Sake No Hana at Moxy Lower East Side in New York on Monday,. Credit: Evan Agostini / Invision via AP

Not long after Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk said he was considering instituting a $19.99-per-month charge for people to keep their verified “blue check” on the social media platform, Stephen King, one of its most popular users, said he’d rather not, thanks.

King tweeted Monday that if such a charge was rolled out, he’d be “gone like Enron,” peppered with some of his characteristically salty language. When other users suggested that someone as wealthy as King could surely afford $20 per month, he said it wasn’t about the money, but rather the “principal of the thing.”

Early Tuesday morning, Musk responded directly to King, saying that Twitter “has to pay the bills somehow” and “can’t rely on advertising alone” to do so, before suggesting an $8-per-month fee instead.

While the blue check mark is a status symbol for some Twitter users, it was originally meant to denote that the person had a verified account, making it easier for people to identify them as an official account, and not a bot or false impersonator.

King has nearly 7 million followers on Twitter, and has been an enthusiastic user of the platform since joining in 2013.

After a protracted, months-long effort to purchase Twitter, billionaire Musk finally purchased it late last month for $44 billion. Over the past five days, he has fired its top executives and thrown out a number of possibilities for the platform, including bringing back its short-form video service Vine and rethinking character limits.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.