Elon Musk’s new $8 blue checkmarks cause chaos on Twitter as pranksters impersonate LeBron James

Elon Musk’s efforts to authenticate Twitter users led to a nervous moment for Los Angeles Lakers fans, who thought they were missing out on a cornerstone of LeBron James’ scoring streak.

“Thank you #LakersNation for all your support throughout the year,” read a tweet from an account called @KingJamez. On to bigger and better things! #ThekidfromAKRON #ImComingHome.’

Not. James’ account uses a slightly different handle: @KingJames.

Considering that James’ fake account was decorated with a blue check, this confusion was understandable.

However, Musk has vowed to change that system after his $44 billion purchase of the social media platform. Checkmarks will be available at a yet-to-be-announced date to anyone willing to pay a $7.99 monthly subscription, which includes some bonus features, such as fewer ads and the ability to see more tweets from those who Non-subscribers come.

Experts have expressed concern that making Checkmark available to anyone for a fee could lead to impersonation and the spread of false information and fraud.

A tweet, purportedly from LeBron James, turned out to be completely fake despite repeated efforts by Twitter to improve its verification system.

A tweet, purportedly from LeBron James, turned out to be completely fake despite repeated efforts by Twitter to improve its verification system.

Elon Musk's efforts to authenticate Twitter users led to a nervous moment for Los Angeles Lakers fans, who thought they were missing out on a cornerstone of LeBron James' scoring streak.

LeBron James did not ask for a trade from the Lakers

Elon Musk’s efforts to authenticate Twitter users led to a nervous moment for Los Angeles Lakers fans, who thought they were missing out on a cornerstone of LeBron James’ scoring streak.

Those fears were prescient for Lakers fans, who began to think that James would be forced out of Los Angeles. And given the team’s 2-8 start, such demand is understandable for a title-focused player approaching 40 years old.

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Twitter has already banned @KingJamez from following Musk’s order to suspend any user who pretends to be someone else without being clearly identified as a parody account.

Similarly, another user impersonating ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was suspended despite being clearly tagged: @AdamSchefterNOT.

Josh McDaniels has stepped down as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, sources tell ESPN. It was written on the user account @AdamSchefterNOT.

There are about 423,000 verified accounts under the exit system. Many of these people belong to celebrities, businesses and politicians, as well as the media.

But a large proportion of verified accounts belong to individual journalists, some of whom have small followings in newspapers and local news sites around the world. The goal was to verify reporters so that their identities were not used to post false information on Twitter.

Another user impersonating ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has been suspended despite being clearly tagged: @AdamSchefterNOT

Another user impersonating ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has been suspended despite being clearly tagged: @AdamSchefterNOT

Musk sought to reassure major companies that advertise on Twitter on Wednesday that taking over the social media platform won’t hurt their brands, acknowledging that some “stupid things” might happen on his way to something better. A safer user experience

The latest erratic move on the minds of the big advertisers the company depends on for revenue was Musk’s decision to scrap the new “Official” tag on popular Twitter accounts just hours after it was introduced.

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On Wednesday, Twitter began adding gray labels to some prominent accounts, including brands like Coca-Cola, Nike and Apple, to indicate they are authentic. A few hours later, the tags started to disappear.

“Besides being an aesthetic nightmare when looking at the Twitter feed, it was another way to create a two-tier system,” Tesla’s billionaire CEO told advertisers in an hour-long chat streamed live on Twitter. “It wasn’t addressing the underlying problem.”

Media sites such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal received an official name, as did most major corporate brands. And then they were gone.

Musk sought to reassure major companies that advertise on Twitter on Wednesday that taking over the social media platform won't hurt their brands, acknowledging that some

Musk sought to reassure major companies that advertise on Twitter on Wednesday that taking over the social media platform won’t hurt their brands, acknowledging that some “stupid things” might happen on his way to something better. A safer user experience

Before they disappeared, labels were confusing. For example, users in London could see an “Official” label attached to a BBC account, but this label would not be displayed for US users.

YouTube personality and writer John Green joked that he received the label, but his younger brother and “blog” partner, Hank Green, did not. But then the John Green label also disappeared. Another popular YouTuber, Marquez Brownlee, who posts videos about technology, tweeted that he had received the tag, then retweeted that it had disappeared, which drew the attention of Musk himself.

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“I just killed it,” Musk replied, though it was initially unclear whether he was referring specifically to the Brownlee label or the entire project.

The gray sticker — a color that tends to blend into the background, whether you’re using light or dark mode to navigate Twitter — was an obvious compromise. But it was expected to lead to more confusion, as Twitter users accustomed to the blue check as a sign of authenticity now had to look for the less obvious official name.

Esther Crawford, a Twitter employee working on the overhaul, said on Twitter on Tuesday that the “Official” label will be added to “select accounts” when the new system launches.

Crawford, who recently became the subject of a viral photo of himself lying on the floor of Twitter’s office while working to meet Musk, said: “Not all pre-verified accounts receive the ‘Official’ label, which is available for purchase on not available Deadlines

Those receiving the label include government accounts, commercial companies, business partners, major media outlets, publishers and some public figures, Crawford said. But after the hashtags disappeared on Wednesday, he tweeted again: “No more sacred cows on Twitter.”

“Elon is willing to try a lot of things — many will fail, some will succeed,” he said. “The goal is to find the right mix of successful changes to ensure the long-term health and growth of the business.”

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