(KRON) — Did LeBron James request a trade from the Lakers? Did the Raiders fire their head coach? Sports fans have been left duped and confused after Elon Musk updated Twitter to allow users to pay for a “verified” blue check.
Previously, accounts were verified by Twitter because they were, “notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” Now, Twitter Blue subscribers can pay $8 to get the same blue check.
Some accounts obtained the blue check and immediately changed their profile to imitate that of a famous person. The result was chaos, particularly in the sports world, where lots of news is broken on Twitter.
One Twitter user with the handle @KINGJamez changed his information to reflect Lakers superstar LeBron James. The account posted a photo of James with the message, “I am officially requesting a trade. Thank you #LakersNation for all the support through the years. 💯Onto bigger and better things!”
The account has since been suspended, but not before some users were fooled. And the pranks did not stop there.
Another user impersonated ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter, posting that the Las Vegas Raiders had fired head coach Josh McDaniels. New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman and Edmonton Oilers player Connor McDavid were also impersonated.
KRON ON is streaming news live now
Some pranks were more sinister. An account impersonating the Pittsburgh Steelers falsely posted that quarterback Kenny Pickett died.
Musk chimed in about the situation on Twitter. He tweeted that accounts that were verified without buying Twitter blue will be marked, “Legacy Verified. Could be notable, but could also be bogus.” A tweet from the Twitter Support account read, “We’re not currently putting an ‘Official’label on accounts but we are aggressively going after impersonation and deception.”