“Star Wars” actor John Boyega was inexplicably stripped of his Twitter verification badge, before it was hastily restored following Variety’s enquiries on Friday.
The actor, who was a central cast member in the most recent “Star Wars” trilogy alongside Daisy Ridley, appeared to lose the verification badge some time earlier this week. Since Wednesday, Twitter users have been remarking on Boyega no longer having a check mark by his Twitter handle.
A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment but a source suggested the blue check mark had been removed due to “inactivity,” pointing Variety in the direction of Twitter’s verification policy, which says:
“You may lose your badge if you change your account name (@handle), if your account becomes inactive or incomplete, or if you are no longer in the position you initially were verified for — such as an elected government official who leaves office — and you do not otherwise meet our criteria for verification.
“We may also remove the blue badge from accounts that are found to be in severe or repeated violation of the Twitter Rules.”
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The source added that “inactivity” can mean not logging onto Twitter for more than six months.
Within minutes of Variety pointing out that other celebrities, such as “Star Trek” actor Wil Wheaton, haven’t been publicly active on Twitter for a much longer period of time but have retained their verification badge, Boyega’s blue check mark mysteriously re-appeared.
Boyega’s last tweet is from November 2020. Wheaton’s is from April 2018. It is unknown whether Wheaton has been logging in periodically to ensure his account remains active.
Earlier this year, Twitter announced it would be taking a more hardline stance on ‘inactive’ verified Twitter accounts and removing verification badges more frequently. Their policy states that, once verified, a user cannot request to have the blue check mark removed.
However, given the verification badges were introduced in 2009 after celebrities such as Kanye West complained of impersonation, removing them from world-renowned actors — even those who haven’t logged in for six months — seems counter-productive.
Boyega’s verification badge drama came on the heels of a Hollywood Reporter story earlier this week claiming the actor had unexpectedly walked off his latest Netflix production, “Rebel Ridge.” Netflix cited family reasons for Boyega’s decision to part ways with the film.
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