Be careful who you retweet these days.
Now that Twitter has introduced the ability to purchase a verified blue tick by subscribing to Twitter Blue for $8 a month, the social media platform has been inundated with accounts impersonating famous people or companies, which in some cases racked up thousands of retweets before Twitter. had the option of suspending them.
Since Wednesday, accounts of blue ticks have appeared impersonating everyone from former President Donald Trump to NBA star LeBron James. A tweet from him aimed at duping followers believing that James was asking for a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers. Another account impersonated Nintendo of America tweeted an image of Mario giving the middle finger, attracting thousands of retweets.
All of these accounts have been suspended by Twitter – although according The edgeMario’s remained in place for nearly two hours.
Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, pointed out that impersonating anyone using a blue check mark will result in suspension. Still, critics have expressed concerns about the kind of misinformation accounts that might spread before they are taken down. “What if someone poses as a police account and ‘reports’ an active shooting,” asked journalist Aaron Rupar.
Users can, however, click on an account’s verified checkmark to find out whether it was turned over because the user is “outstanding in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category” or because they have just paid for it. During a Q&A on Wednesday, Musk defended the new policy, saying, “If someone tries to impersonate a brand, that account will be suspended and we’ll keep their $8. And they can keep doing it, and we’ll just keep their $8 again, keep their $8 again, great. Do it all day. They’ll stop.”