New regulation leads to fake profiles of celebrities on Twitter
Status: 09:04 a.m
In the past, verification ticks on Twitter were primarily reserved for public figures, but now everyone who takes out a subscription gets them. The change ordered by Twitter boss Elon Musk was immediately abused.
TDespite the threat of bans, some Twitter users created fake accounts for celebrities after the verification system was changed. The coveted verification ticks, which Twitter is breaking new ground by giving to subscription customers, were immediately misused for misleading posts. It was announced on Wednesday via the alleged account of basketball star LeBron James that he wanted to leave the Los Angeles Lakers.
It was easy to believe the account was real: next to the athlete’s name was the familiar white check mark on a blue background, and the account name was also confusingly similar: “@KINGJamez” instead of the real “@KingJames”. The account was blocked – but only after it had already received broader attention. Fake accounts were also created for other celebrities and companies.
The verification tick was previously reserved for celebrities, politicians, organizations and companies whose identity was verified by Twitter. Under the new system, everyone who takes out a subscription for eight dollars a month gets it. There is no longer an exam. Twitter boss Elon Musk said he assumes that authentication through payment services and app platforms and the risk of losing the account and the money paid in the event of violations offer sufficient protection against abuse.
At times, an additional gray tick was planned for previous owners of verified accounts. Musk only stopped its introduction on Wednesday when the first profiles had already been ticked.
The tech billionaire announced the reorganization of account verification as one of the first steps after the roughly $44 billion takeover of Twitter. He announced that existing verified account holders who don’t want to pay eight dollars a month would lose their ticks in a few months.