Brittany Gates

Reporting video games and tech news from an entrepreneur angle

Twitter Paid Verification Fails Spectacularly

twitter paid verification fails
In not-so-shocking news: Twitter paid verification fails due to spammers and trolls impersonating other people

Well, no one saw this coming. Wait, what’s that? Oh yes, we all did. Twitter paid verification fails spectacularly because trolls and spammers took advantage of no identity verification to impersonate celebrities and brands. And as of this posting of this article accounts created after November 9th, 2022 can’t sign up for the subscription service until further notice per the updated support page.

Twitter Paid Verification Fails Because Its Owner’s Assumptions

Twitter paid verification fails because its new owner, Elon Musk, has faulty assumptions. He’s trying to fix the spam and bot problem on the platform, which is a worthy cause. Because spammers and bots makes the experience poor for all users. In addition, the new owner wants to give features users ask for, and one of them is verification. So he works on the latter, giving any user subscribing to the updated Twitter Blue instant verification. And that’s where the problem start.

Actually, the problems start when Elon Musk announces to the public his plans for paid Twitter verification. Since he wants to skip the identity verification part users tells him repeatedly this feature will fail because spammers and bot accounts will spend $8 to pretend to be someone else. However, the new owners disregards those warnings because he believes spammers and bot account owners won’t spend money. This is a faulty assumption because spammers and bot accounts and scammers online and offline spend money everyday to trick people into falling for their schemes. As the old business adage goes: You must spend money to make money. Con artistry isn’t exempt from that.

As soon as iOS users could subscribe to the updated Twitter Blue subscription service and get their Blue Checkmark the platform saw impersonators. Words can’t do it justice so here’s some screenshots of the mayhem:

A Twitter account impersonating Chiquita using paid verification.
A Twitter account impersonating Eli Lilly using paid verification.
A Twitter account impersonating Tesla using paid verification.

This is just a short selection of screenshots and you can find more online. Twitter became worse within the past two days because of it, because with the checkmark some users thought these were the official accounts of celebrities and brands. Thus, the crazy tweets made those individuals mad to say the least. And that’s way the platform suspended new signups.

How The Company Should Have Handled Paid Verification

Here’s how me, as a small business owner, would have handled paid verification:

  • Limit the initial signups to 5,000 users.
  • Make the signup process’ instructions explicit (users must fill out the form using the information that will match up with their identification).
  • Verify the signups and make sure their submitted form matches the submitted identification.
  • If there’s any discrepancy then reach out to the user to clear it up.
  • If the user won’t resolve any discrepancy then deny verification (and possibly cancel that user’s subscription).

After the limited roll-out then the company monitors the situation to see what works and what needs improvement. Then when everything works properly the company could sign up more users, opening the subscriptions to another batch of signups.

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