Twitter users have been taken for quite the ride over the past few days when it comes to the site’s verification system.
On Thursday, Elon Musk removed the “legacy verified” blue checkmarks from users who received them prior to his acquisition. Then he started “gifting” Twitter Blue verified badges to specific celebrities who publicly said they wouldn’t pay $8 to keep their checkmarks. Over the weekend, he began to apply Twitter Blue subscriptions to prominent users talking about #BlockTheBlue (including the author of this piece). Then he went ahead and just gave them out to almost every Twitter user with more than 1 million followers.
And that’s just the blue ticks. During this whole debacle, Twitter had accidentally removed gold checkmarks, a Musk-introduced badge for organizations and companies, from business accounts. The company quickly let these businesses know they’d be restoring these gold checkmarks – which cost some of these users $1,000 per month – as quickly as possible.
Well, it seems in the process of doing that, Twitter verified the wrong account. And not just any wrong account. Twitter verified a fake Disney account that appears to be created specifically for trolling.
On Monday morning, Twitter users noticed that the @DisneyJuniorUK account had received a gold checkmark, a sign that Twitter had verified a business-owned account as being official on the platform.
One problem: @DisneyJuniorUK is not an official Disney account. According to the owner of the account, Twitter user @7virtues_, they had set it up back in 2021(opens in a new tab) and mostly used it for shitposts.
Twitter eventually suspended the account entirely this morning, but not before @DisneyJuniorUK had some fun with its newly-acquired(opens in a new tab) gold checkmark.
“no fucking way,” @DisneyJuniorUK tweeted when first realizing the account had been verified. “this isn’t actually real right? someone fucking pinch me or something.”
Users quickly verified it was real by clicking on the gold checkmark and seeing the official description(opens in a new tab) of the account.
Then the posting from @DisneyJuniorUK really began. Among some of the more random tweets, the account fully pretended to be a Disney-affiliated profile with a tweet(opens in a new tab) claiming that South Park was coming to Disney’s streaming network, Disney+.
Readers, we can confirm that South Park is most definitely not coming to Disney+.
Anyway, this whole thing lasted just a few hours before Twitter pulled the plug. But, it just goes to show that it’s getting harder for users to trust what they see on Twitter now. Even for Twitter itself.