Today, on November 9, Twitter finally rolled out its new Verification system for Twitter Blue subscribers, meaning those who pay $7.99 a month can now have a Verification badge next to their name, just like their favorite celebrities, public figures, and journalists, just without the notoriety.
As almost everyone expected, trolls are already taking advantage of the new feature to spread misinformation to unassuming users, especially in the gaming scene, including new game announcements and meme pictures that look as though they’ve come from an official account.
“Nintendo of America” Tweeted WHAT?
The first prank to be born out of the new system was from an account with the handle “nlntendoofus” and while this is a blatantly obvious fake account, it’s not the handle that was the issue – it’s that their display name was Nintendo of America with a Verification symbol next to it, just like the real deal.
The account posted an image of Super Mario flipping the bird. Many folks weren’t fooled, but it did catch some out, as evidenced in the tweet’s replies. One person even threatened to unfollow because it wasn’t the type of content you’d expect to see from “Nintendo.”
nlntendoofus’ account has since been permanently suspended due to the fact that Twitter’s new Blue Verification policy requires a Verified parody account to specifically state so in its name. But that didn’t stop the antics, with a “Valve” account popping up a few minutes later.
“We’re excited to unveil Ricochet: Neon Prime, our next competitive platform, this Thursday at 10am Pacific Time,” the impersonating account “valvesotfware” tweeted, “Can’t wait to see you all on the grid!” Unlike the unofficial Nintendo account, this one has yet to be suspended at the time of writing.
So, the moral of the story is that you can’t trust anything anymore, not at first glance anyway. Fortunately, there is a way to check if an account is actually Verified or not before you believe any tricks. Simply go to a Verified account’s profile page and then click on their Verified badge.
If it’s an official verification, it’ll state, “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” If it’s Verified because the account has subscribed to Twitter Blue, it will instead read, “This account is verified because it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue.”
Good luck out there – and don’t believe everything you see!