Do Not Be Fooled by Twitter’s Excellent Elon Musk Impersonators

Elon Musk’s Twitter is verified. You can find him and his little blue check mark tweeting about SpaceX, Tesla, and, that one time, about how one of the rescue divers who saved the Thai soccer team is a “pedo.” (These allegations were unfounded and lobbed after the diver said Musk’s much-lauded mini-sub was useless for the rescue mission and told him to shove it.) He is not, to be clear, a crazed Frenchman wielding a baguette and sporting a mustache and a beret. That’s French Élon Musque, a very good parody account.

Musk is also not an Italian dude with a plate of spaghetti and a different mustache. (This account, run by writer Alex Arbuckle, has since been taken down.)

While this distinction between Musk and, well, not Musk should be easy enough, Twitter has started cracking down on impersonators. Over the weekend, the Verge reported that the platform had begun automatically locking unverified accounts where the user changed the display name to Elon Musk. This was done reportedly to tamp down on “cryptocurrency scammers” posing as Musk. “As part of our continuing efforts to combat spam and malicious activity on our service, we’re testing new measures to challenge accounts that use terms commonly associated with spam campaigns. We are continually refining these detections based on changes in spammy activity,” a Twitter spokesperson said. Sure, Twitter could absolutely do with fewer spam campaigns. That sounds nice. But also … this seems like a strange and limited choice of a problem to “fix” given Twitter’s other, larger issues at present. (Twitter would not comment if this feature has been implemented for other famous Twitter users.)

To continue mocking Musk, a user will have to confirm their account — via phone number or email — before Twitter will unlock it. Please be sure to do this, all you current and future Musk parodists. Ze people of Twitter need you!

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