Fake accounts have started to appear on Twitter. This comes after Elon Musk decided to scrap the site’s verification policies resulting in trolls impersonating various famous figures, including a fake Tesla account.
Musk altered his verification policy by agreeing to provide verification to anyone for $7.99. This has resulted in a slew of impersonator accounts, including those for Donald Trump, George Bush, and LeBron James, among others.
Shortly after Twitter’s new verification policy went into effect on Wednesday, a blue-tick account impersonating former US President George Bush tweeted, “I miss killing Iraqis.” Another bogus account, posing as former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, responded, “Same tbh.”
The trolls also impersonated famous athletes, including a fake account for Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, tweeting that the athlete requested a transfer to a new team.
Some of these fake accounts have been suspended, but others are still active, with more subscribing to the blue tick and springing up.
Musk tweeted on Thursday that parody accounts must now include the word “parody” in their name rather than just in their bio. He stated that accounts performing impersonations, which essentially trick people, is not right.
The recent chaos has caused some advertisers to be concerned about the future of the social media platform under Musk’s leadership. So far, major advertisers such as General Motors, General Mills, and Audi have suspended ads on the platform while they await clarification on the site’s moderation policies.
The US Federal Trade Commission said it was closely monitoring Twitter following the resignation of several top executives. This called into question the company’s ability to follow regulatory orders.
In addition, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated that the country is closely monitoring Twitter’s development under its new owner. The Minister stated that Nigeria has no intention of banning the platform again, but it will also not stand by and watch the platform destabilise the country.
Famous and influential people could apply for a free checkmark to identify their identity under the old verification system. Musk, on the other hand, called this a “Lord and Peasant” system. He believes that his changes will democratise the platform and make it more accessible to everyone.