Twitter has been beset by a wave of celebrity impersonator accounts following Elon Mask’s new verification system on the social media platform.
Twitter then attempted to tackle this by issuing grey “official badges” to verified accounts such as celebrities, government officials and major companies. However, this option was shortly disabled by Musk, who said “Blue check will be the great leveller.”
The new Blue subscription service means Twitter no longer verifies the identity of an account owner who receives a verified badge, making it simple for impostor accounts to pass for legitimate ones.
Twitter Blue is a premium subscription service aimed at elevating quality conversations on Twitter, the company says.
It is an opt-in, paid-monthly subscription, which adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select new features such as Edit Tweet. It costs £6.99 a month.
At the time of writing, there were about 423,000 verified accounts under the outgoing system, with the majority belonging to politicians, celebrities, businesses, and media outlets.
However, many Twitter users have been using the new Blue subscription service to impersonate celebrities and politicians while seeming to be verified.
An account pretending to be basketball player LeBron James claimed that he was requesting to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers. The tweet has since been deleted.
Well, that didn’t take long at all lol
(This is not Lebron James) pic.twitter.com/wzOXuOy3pr
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 9, 2022
Similarly, an account impersonating Cuban baseball pitcher Aroldis Chapman tweeted that he would remain with the New York Yankees.
This was a “verified with $8 account” pretending to be Yankee reliever Aroldis Chapman, pranking Yankee fans by saying he just re-signed for three years (he sucks)
A prank. Suspended now. But shows how screwed up Musk’s pay-to-play verification is, and how dangerous it could be pic.twitter.com/fb9j6T2zQk
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) November 9, 2022
Another user parodying ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter claimed that Josh McDaniels had been fired as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.
Meanwhile, an account pretending to be former US president George W Bush tweeted: “I miss killing Iraqis”. The tweet was shared by another fake account pretending to be former British prime minister Tony Blair.
It wrote: “Same tbh”.
The prank wasn't just immune to impersonation accounts. One account purporting to be the official account for the social media company tweeted a crypto scam that garnered more than 35,000 retweets. Another account impersonating video game developer Nintendo tweeted a picture of its masco Mario flipping his middle finger at Twitter.