At widely predicted, the Twitter Blue expansion – which enables anyone to get a blue tick for $7.99 a month – has caused chaos with all manner of verified imposters running roughshod over the platform.
We’ve had a verified-but-fake LeBron James announcing the NBA legend is quitting the Los Angeles Lakers, a Nintendo of America account tweeting out an image of Mario giving everyone the finger, as well as accounts purporting to be prominent former leaders like George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and Tony Blair.
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The Trump account was created by Brian Whelan, who works at London-based Times Radio. He said he created the ‘verified’ fake Trump account “within two beers” – a reference to how quickly he was able to accomplish the feat. The now-suspended @DonTrumpReal account tweeted: “This is why Elon Musk’s plan doesn’t work.”
However, perhaps the verified account that best surmises the situation is the blue tick afforded to the @Jesus account – “Carpenter, Healer, God” – the long-standing comedy account with the “Buddy Christ” from Kevin Smith’s Dogma as an avatar.
You can enjoy CNN‘s excellent social media and misinformation reporter Donie O’Sullivan doing his best to keep a straight face while explaining the situation on the news in the United States, on Thursday afternoon.
While all of this is entertaining right now, it’s also potentially extremely dangerous. Twitter is not actually verifying the identity of the account holders anymore, meaning imposters can run wild.
The company’s new owner reckons it’s all one big experiment playing out in the public realm, so there’s clearly nothing to actually worry about, despite people with blue ticks pretending to be world leaders tweeting about how they “miss killing Iraqis”.