February 3, 2023

Money News PH

The Premier Blog Where Money Talks

Mario, LeBron, Trump, Jesus Christ: Twitter plays whack-a-mole with “verified” users

Twitter verification used to mean “Twitter has verified that you are who you say you are”. As of this morning, it just means you spend eight bucks to join the club because Elon Musk decided anyone can buy a “verified” tick without any verification at all.

In the hours since then, there has been some cheerfulness.

Neon Prime is a Valve trademark, but it's probably not for a return of its disc tossing game Ricochet.

Neon Prime is a Valve trademark, but it’s probably not for a return of its disc tossing game Ricochet. Screenshot of Tom Warren / The Verge

Jesus Christ, an existing parody account on Twitter, has also been verified:

Jesus is verified.

Jesus is verified. Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

Twitter is already taking action against some of these accounts: fake Nintendo, fake Trump, fake Valve, and fake LeBron accounts have all been banned, for example. (Mario was up about two hours, Valve even longer.) Others are still there. The company says it takes “aggressive action against imitation and deception.” But it looks like it’s going to be a whack-a-mole game.

While Musk has claimed that this new system will deter spammers, it’s now crystal clear how it can bolster fake news — although users can still verify why an account was verified by clicking or tapping on the badge, rather than blindly retweeting .

Twitter also briefly tried a two-tier tick system this morning, but Musk “killed” it after just a few hours.