Twitter verification used to mean “Twitter has verified that you are who you say you are.” As of this morning, it only means coughing up eight bucks to join the club, because Elon Musk has decided that anyone can buy a “verified” tick without any verification.
There was some hilarity in the hours that followed.
Jesus Christ, an existing parody account on Twitter, could also be verified:
Twitter is already taking action on some of these accounts: fake Nintendo, fake Trump, fake Valve and fake LeBron, for example, have their accounts suspended. (Mario was up for about two hours, Valve even longer.) Others are still there. The company says it is “aggressively pursuing impersonation and deception”. But it looks like it’s going to be a whack-a-mole game.
While Musk claimed this new system will deter spammers, it’s now crystal clear how it can be done empower fake news – although users can still check to see Why an account is verified when they click or tap the badge instead of blindly retweeting.
Twitter also briefly tried a two-pronged tick this morning, but Musk “killed it” after just a few hours.