|Twitter’s verification system is a mess.
Elon Musk opened up Twitter’s blue checkmark system to anyone willing to pay $8 a month — leading to a Wild West of scamming and parody.
Some companies have decided to pause their advertising following a surge of hate speech on the platform. (And the memes making fun of anyone with paid verification are merciless.)
Meanwhile, verified accounts are now impersonating public figures, from star athletes to former presidents.
Here’s a few examples: One verified account in the name of “George W. Bush” was taken down after tweeting “I miss killing Iraqis” and a sad-face emoji. A verified post from an account impersonating NBA star LeBron James said he was “officially requesting a trade.”
One user even told us how they impersonated a famous YouTuber with the $8 verification — and said the whole process only took 25 minutes.
To try and combat the surge in fake verified accounts, Twitter this week rolled out a new “Official” verification badge to identify press outlets, celebrities, and other high-profile accounts. Musk killed the new badge within hours, describing it as an “aesthetic nightmare.” But as the impersonations piled up, Twitter reversed its reversal.
The indecision and the ease with which public figures can be impersonated suggest Twitter will be playing whack-a-mole to track and block parody accounts.
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