Elon Musk’s plan to charge any Twitter user $8 for verification is off to a difficult start.
In the first days of operation, a number of newly-verified accounts have gone viral on the website by pretending to be public figures, including Musk himself.
Musk has warned any account impersonating someone without clearly identifying itself as parody will be permanently suspended.
- Some of the most prominent examples of verified impersonations included:
- An account pretending to be Musk himself asking singer and ex-partner Grimes to “come back”.
- An account pretending to be Nintendo with a picture of Mario raising his middle figure.
- An account pretending to be OJ Simpson, confessing to a crime.
- Accounts pretending to be former U.S. President George W Bush and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair referring to the Iraq War.
These accounts have since been suspended, but while they were active they garnered thousands of likes.
In a Tweet yesterday, Musk said Twitter would “do lots of dumb things in coming months. We will keep what works & change what doesn’t.”
He also said Twitter usage was at an all-time high.
In a recent all-staff meeting, Musk reportedly told staff he had sold shares of his company Tesla to “save Twitter”.
According to U.S. tech journalist Zoë Schiffer, Musk told staff bankruptcy “isn’t out of the question”.
He also reportedly told staff that if they choose to work from home, he will consider them resigned. It follows an all-staff email reported by Bloomberg which requires all employees to work from the office for at least 40 hours a week, effective immediately.