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Brand impersonation grows on Twitter amid Elon Musk’s verification process overhaul

Since Elon Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, the social platform has gone through a few controversial changes. None more than his decision to completely overhaul the verification system. The coveted blue tick, once a symbol of status only bestowed to those with a significant following was to become a paid for commodity – for the price of $8 per month. What used to be a stamp of authenticity to confirm the information coming from the account could be trusted, is now available to anyone with a bank card.

The logic for this? Not just a quick money making scheme, Musk claims that this new change will create a more honest platform, where scammers and impersonators will have more hoops to jump through to be taken seriously. He argues that there will be far less fake/spam/robot accounts when they have to authenticate themselves with a credit or debit card, and pay for the privilege of the verified tick.

However, this decision has resulted in many users abusing the new system to pose as brands or celebrities, causing chaos and confusion across the Twitterverse. For example:

A verified account with the handle @pepico, posing as Pepsi praised their biggest rival brand, with the statement “Coke is better”.

Pepsi weren’t alone. A profile impersonating Nintendo posted a picture of their beloved Italian Plumber, Mario, making a rather rude gesture with his middle finger – that stayed up for almost 2 hours before being taken down. Perhaps even more controversial, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily appeared to tweet “Insulin is now free”, from a fake account.

Brands weren’t the only ones to suffer. Prominent public figures also came under attack from imposter accounts including President Joe Biden, Donald Trump, LeBron James, George W Bush and even Musk himself.

So what’s the big deal? It’s all just a bit of fun right? Wrong…

At SnapDragon we deal with scammers, fakes,  and impersonators every day. The trouble is, that many fall for it and think they are real. Many of these accounts aren’t just in it for a giggle, they are there to scam customers, steal money, and very often, ruin reputations. Any brand/influencer/public figure can be targeted by these imposters, and they can have severe repercussions.

Luckily, there is a solution. We tackle brand misuse every day, and work to stamp out any unauthorized use of your name or intellectual property. Profile impersonation is an ever growing issue, especially with these recent changes on Twitter. So how can we help?

We monitor social media platforms to detect any abuse of your brand or name. We then enforce using your intellectual property to have any infringements removed, swiftly and with efficiency.

Have you experienced problems with impersonation online? We can help. Get in touch today and we will perform a free, no-obligation brand check where we will show you where you have a problem online, and how to tackle it. Or, if you’d simply rather have a quick chat with an expert, book an appointment here.


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