Twitter pauses subscription verification after many fake accounts

Twitter has paused the ability to buy a verification checkmark with subscription payments after a wave of fake accounts from brands and celebrities. The subscription is expected to be available again by the end of next week.

This is what the new Twitter owner Elon Musk wrote in a tweet on Sunday night. He did not provide any further details, for example on how the system is to be better protected against deceptively genuine-looking fake accounts.

Twitter had only on Wednesday implemented the new order announced by Musk in the awarding of the checkmarks. Previously, they were granted to celebrities, politicians and companies after a review by Twitter.

Under the new model, the checkmark is given to anyone who pays eight dollars a month. There is no identity check. The checkmark looks the same in both cases. Whether you are dealing with a previous, actually verified account or a new, purchased checkmark is only clear from a text after clicking on the icon.

Some users created credible fake accounts with the purchased checkmarks - for example, for basketball star LeBron James, the gaming company Nintendo and former President Donald Trump. The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly apologized to Twitter users who were led to believe by a fake account that insulin would be distributed free of charge in the future. An allegedly verified fake account of Chiquita announced that it had overthrown the Brazilian government.

Musk bought Twitter two weeks ago for around 44 billion dollars. Since then, the company has had to contend with the reluctance of large advertising customers, among other things. Advertising revenue recently accounted for around 90 percent of Twitter's income. (SDA)

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