In exchange for $8 a month, Twitter Blue users could have any of their accounts verified, giving them access to the ‘valuable’ blue checkmark. As a result of the change, individuals are already willing to pay to pretend as some of the most well-known businesses and celebrities in the world.
The “blue checkmark” trust indicator was only given out by the social media platform if an account satisfied certain requirements and was verified to be who they said they were. However, once Elon Musk purchased the company, the parameters were relaxed. After Twitter Blue’s release, however, the platform became a free-for-all. There was growing criticism that every other account on Twitter had a blue checkmark, prompting the social media platform to take action.
To identify verified accounts, they implemented a grey checkmark alongside an official badge. Unfortunately, the move backfired when hundreds of fake accounts claiming to represent major brands like Nintendo flooded the platform within hours of its launch.
Since every change causes problems, the question becomes: Were the problems here particularly severe enough to justify the reversal of the decision?
The official Nintendo of America Twitter account appeared to tweet several baffling photographs of Super Mario, including one in which he appeared to give the middle finger. This fake account, with the name @nlntendoofus, was quickly suspended when its posts were widely shared across Twitter.
The bogus Nintendo account has been nuked after an hour. They made two posts, one which went viral. I wonder how brand advertisers will feel about this. pic.twitter.com/7KXRIFZJVr
— steven ''italian elon musk'' monacelli (@stevanzetti) November 9, 2022
As if that weren’t enough, there was a Twitter account advertising a “competitive platform” and pretending to be Valve. Even though the account name is actually valvesotfware and Valve would never make an announcement this way, many people apparently thought it was real due to the huge blue tick next to its name.
Good grief. Why would you go to the trouble of registering a fake Valve and NOT announce Half Life 3? pic.twitter.com/L7HKtjeVur
— Stuart Houghton (@stuarthoughton) November 10, 2022
Moreover, an account using the handle @RockstarGamse (nice) tweeted the release date for GTA VI, which, to be fair, blew up quite quickly, and it’d be lame to wonder why?
Why.. just why.. pic.twitter.com/DlAbaOypTz
— Glep (@ItsGlep) November 9, 2022
Though Twitter quickly suspended the accounts in question, the damage had already been done, catching the attention of at least a few people.