Purchased, “verified” Twitter accounts are now being abused in all kinds of ways including fraud, impersonation, misinformation / disinformation, etc.
Twitter, a microblogging & social media platform used by individuals, businesses, news agencies, government institutions, etc. has introduced Twitter Blue, an $8 monthly subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select new features, like the ability to edit tweets, etc. and currently, this functionality is available in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
Before the launch of the Twitter Blue service, the blue checkmark was used to indicate active, notable, and authentic accounts of public interest that Twitter had independently verified based on certain requirements, however with the new service, anyone who can afford the service fee ($8 monthly) can now have a verified twitter account.
In just a few hours after the Twitter Blue service became available, the risks related to this feature already come to pass, as purchased “verified” accounts are now being abused in all imaginable ways: They’re impersonating both individuals and companies, spouting hate speech, fraud, impersonation, crypto scams, and more.
How Twitter users can protect themselves
- Take a close look at both a Twitter account’s name and its handle.
- Verify the age of the account as well as how many tweets, retweets, and interactions it’s had in the past.
- Be more vigilant than ever before when an account is asking for money. It’s crucial to verify everything - where the money is supposed to go and whether the same recipient information can be obtained also from a different source (for example, from the official website of the organization).
- When you click on a Twitter account’s checkmark, the information whether the account was verified or payed for will be displayed.
- Finally, remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.