Following ‘Chief Twit’ Elon Musk’s redesign of the microblogging site’s authentication mechanism, Twitter’s trust and safety team is battling a rise in impostor accounts. Musk unveiled the $8 per month Twitter Blue subscription in an effort to boost the company’s decreasing profitability. The new subscription model allows anybody to receive a blue tick, in contrast to the previous when verification was only available to prominent figures like the government, celebrities, and corporations.
However, the updated verification procedure made it easier for people to set up accounts impersonating well-known companies and politicians, misleading users and possibly endangering Twitter’s reputation. Accounts impersonating celebrities by changing their account names and obtaining a blue tick by paying for the service have sharply increased recently.
For example, Twitter user @nlntendodoofus renamed the account to ‘Nintendo of America’ and still managed to obtain a blue tick to make it appear as though it was a verified official account. The bogus Nintendo account tweeted a picture of Mario the mascot of the Japanese company with its middle finger raised before it was banned. LeBron James was allegedly ‘formally demanding a trade’ from his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers, to another team, according to a spoof account of the NBA star.
Another account tricked people into believing it was former US president Donald Trump tweeting, ‘This is why Elon Musk’s proposal doesn’t work’. Elon Musk addressed the issue earlier on Thursday by tweeting about a number of steps that will be taken to combat phoney accounts. In the future, he added, ‘accounts involved in parody must put ‘parody’ in their name, not merely in their profile.’ To be more exact, accounts impersonating parodies. Basically, it’s not acceptable to fool others.