Elon Musk’s resolve to shoo away impostors stands defeated in front of a new case of impersonation. This time, for Senator Ed Markey.
Twitter’s CEO, in an effort to increase the company’s revenue, monetized Twitter Blue, claiming to fix a long-drawn vulnerability in the platform’s security system.
He decided to make Twitter’s blue checks only accessible to people willing to pay for it. Despite Musk’s strong claims, The Washington Post’s tech columnist managed to get a checkmark for an impostor Senator Ed Markey’s account.
- Twitter rolled out an updated Twitter Blue subscription service after CEO Elon Musk delayed the launch in November 2022
- The feature was helpless in the face of the new impersonation case surrounding Senator Ed Markey.
- The impostor was revealed to be a tech columnist in The Washington Post
- The news will cause users to question the credibility of Twitter Blue
Senator Ed Markey’s fake account went viral on Twitter when Senator John Fetterman’s wife mentioned it in a tweet. It received 140,000 views. The site never asked for a form of identification enabling the impostor to perpetuate the act.
When the story was published, Twitter proceeded to suspend the impostor account.
What is Twitter Blue?
Twitter Blue had a delayed but updated launch on Monday due to Elon Musk’s decision to put it on hold. The subscription costs $8 a month for web users and $11 a month for iOS users.
The feature allows users with verified phone numbers to place blue ticks on their accounts once it is reviewed and approved. Blue users can edit tweets and gain early access to new features.
New additions are reportedly coming up, like the option to post longer videos and watch fewer ads.
Why was Twitter Blue Relaunched?
Twitter Blue was released in November but had to be discontinued when users began impersonating celebrities and people of prominence. One of the victims, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily, witnessed a major drop in its stock price due to a false message posted by the impostor.
Other pharmaceutical companies like AbbVie also had a similar experience. So the feature was relaunched with a few adjustments. Businesses will be seen with gold checkmarks, and governments will have grey checkmarks next to their names.
Users who were verified by Twitter’s old policies might lose their checkmark under the new Twitter Blue service. Musk tweeted that all legacy blue checks would be removed in the future.
Why is Twitter Blue Still Controversial?
After Twitter Blue was relaunched on December 12, 2022, a fake account of Senator Markey surfaced online. The Washington Post employee (the impostor) swept past the platform’s new requirements and gained verified status on Twitter.
The test account subsequently had the senator’s name, photo, and a blue check mark that fooled thousands of users online. However, the incident is merely a replication of another one taking place in November 2022.
Back then, Twitter devalued its iconic blue check mark and gave it to users for a certain price enabling impostors to gain significant status on the site. The same user impersonated Senator Ed Markey’s account and CEO Musk, who took over Twitter in October, plunged into a social media war against the American Senator.
The Blue service was consequently shut down and Musk promised to launch an improved version that will introduce manual authentication for all verified accounts before they receive check marks.
Despite big claims, Twitter has once again failed to gain users’ trust and Twitter Blue is yet another setback in an inevitable series of continual failures. It seems like the platform cannot grasp the dangers of false information and Under Musk’s leadership, the company is purely acting from a need to increase revenue.