'Twitter is done': Verified account impersonates George W Bush and tweets 'I miss killing Iraqis'

Fake Twitter accounts have exploded across the platform after new owner Elon Musk scrapped the site’s verification policies

'Twitter is done': Verified account impersonates George W Bush and tweets 'I miss killing Iraqis'
Trolls are impersonating famous people like George W Bush after Elon Musk scrapped Twitter's verification process (Michael Gonzalez/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Fake Twitter accounts have exploded across the platform after new owner Elon Musk scrapped the site’s verification policies as trolls impersonate famous figures including former US President George W Bush. On Thursday, November 10, a fake account with the blue tick verification badge tweeted as "George W Bush", “I miss killing Iraqis [sad face emoji].” Another fake account posing as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair then reposted the tweet. "Same tbh [to be honest]," it wrote.

According to HuffPost, Twitter instantly suspended both accounts, but the individual pretending to be George W Bush gave an explanation of why he had chosen to pay $8 to get his account verified. He wrote, “Y’all are missing the point about the $8. It’s a small price to make this app completely unusable and I’m assuming he is going to quickly learn we can get refunds from the credit cards we used if he suspends us prior to a month. Is what I would say if I was someone other than the greatest president America has ever known.” 

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As expected many on Twitter came out and trolled Musk as his decision backfired. One user wrote on Twitter, “Now when I see a verified accounts I have to check for any clues to work out whether it is a real or fake one! 😂😂😂”

“So, pay for verification was mean to bring us more reliable information, what do we have instead? Massive fake verified profiles and a mere subscription that doesn’t mean anything because real verified people has “original” on their name. Congrats dude, you just killed a good web,” another added. “Twitter is done. Fake "verified" twitter accounts are impersonating real brands & scamming people,” another user remarked. 

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Earlier, under Twitter’s old verification system, famous users and accounts considered to be of public interest could apply for a checkmark to verify their identity free of charge. Musk had criticized the guidelines as a "lords and peasants system" and framed the significant changes he has ushered in as a means to democratize the platform. On Thursday, November 10, Twitter launched its new 'Twitter Blue' feature for a few countries, which enables users to become verified by paying a subscription fee of $7.99 per month. Following Musk's decision, there has been a flood of impersonator accounts that started to appear on the microblogging platform such as fake accounts of NBA star LeBron James, Nintendo, and even Twitter. 

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One such scammer claimed to be the social media platform's official account and wrote, “Whoa, Twitter Blue is now available for free. Crypto/NFT holders can now get Twitter Blue for free by authenticating their wallet assets. Authenticate now: [scam website]. Ps, there might be a little surprise after authenticating … bird NFT?” Before the account was suspended, the tweet had thousands of shares. Another user posing as Nintendo posted a picture of Super Mario showing the middle finger, while another purporting to be OJ Simpson tweeted, “Ya I’m ngl I did that s***.” That account has also now been suspended. 

According to Metro, yet another scammer, verified his account as basketball star LeBron James, to announce his intention to leave the Los Angeles Lakers. Meanwhile, the new chaos which is not showing signs of slowing down is reportedly leading to an exodus of advertisers. Major advertisers like General Motors, Audi, and General Mills have already paused their ads on the platform. Meanwhile, following the departure of several key privacy and compliance officials, which raised concerns about the company's capacity to adhere to legal requirements, the US Federal Trade Commission declared on Thursday, November 10, that it was monitoring Twitter with ‘deep concern.’

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