Tesla critics are testing Elon Musk’s new Twitter policy
Tesla critics are testing Elon Musk’s new Twitter policy on parody accounts, forcing the CEO to replace and even ban him.
One of the first changes Musk implemented after acquiring Twitter was to expand the “verified” feature, which was originally intended to confirm that the person behind a specific account was a real person, in a Twitter subscription service, and then raise the price. This subscription service costs $8 per month.
The change was to give everyone with $8 the ability to get a verified mark and make their account more official.
Musk’s stated goal with the change was to cut down on bot accounts trying to scam people into paying $8 a month to become official, though new revenue from something that was previously free was likely a significant driver of the change.
The move created a new problem, but fraudsters willing to pay $8 a month would get a verified account, boosting their credibility and helping them with any goal.
People pretended this to Musk last week by changing their accounts to look like Musk and tweeting things he wouldn’t do. It forced Musk to implement a new rule that if you make your account look like someone else, you must state that it is a “parody” account in your profile bio.
Following this new rule, a Tesla critic created a verified account that looked like Tesla’s official account, but had a reference to its bio as a parody.
He started tweeting some wild things that made Tesla look bad, some of which were seen by thousands of people:
Some tweets weren’t more clearly coming from Tesla than others, but the verified check mark probably confused some people, and the account quickly gained thousands of followers.
It also quickly got Musk’s attention:
As the account gained traction, Musk announced a policy change to force parody accounts to include the parody directly in their name, not just in their bio:
After Musk made the announcement, the fake Tesla account was quickly shut down.
Twitter also suspended accounts mocking Musk in a similar fashion after introducing a new parody account rule.
Take the electricity
This is such a mess. Fortunately, not too many people have been fooled, but you can clearly see how it can become a problem.
It seems that Musk has managed to limit the number of spam bots, but it has also allowed them to have a greater impact.
Over time though, the impact should be less as the verified label loses value as anyone can buy it.
Some of our most liked tweets on Twitter right now are just thousands and thousands of replies mocking Musk’s followers for paying $8 to get the brand:
While I don’t agree with what the fake Tesla account was saying, it looks like they were following the rules until Musk changed them. It doesn’t seem fair to ban them unless they are trying to scam people with the account, like Tesla selling fake merchandise.
In buying Twitter, Musk announced that you can now have fun again on the social media platform, apparently not at his or Tesla’s expense.
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