Washington Post tech journalist Geoffrey A. Fowler set up an account and tweeted as Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) — with Markey’s permission — to duplicate the same stunt he pulled shortly after Musk purchased Twitter in October.
Fowler got away with it all over again, just as he did earlier, even though he paid $8 for what Twitter claims is an improved blue check mark verification process confirming he was who he said he was. He wasn’t.
It was “dead simple,” Fowler noted.
“Elon Musk said he would fix Twitter’s problem with impostors. The blue check mark on my fake U.S. senator suggests he still has a long way to go,” Fowler wrote in the Post Thursday.
The “problem is” that the Markey account was “actually me,” wrote Fowler in his test of Musk’s check mark.
After Fowler’s first stint as an imposter, Markey challenged Musk — on Twitter — about the social media platform’s poor verification system. Musk tried to blow him off by dissing Markey’s real site as “sounding like a parody.”
This time around, Fowler said he discovered that Twitter still “isn’t verifying much of anything.” While some requirements slowed down the so-called verification process, Twitter never asked to see some form of identification from Fowler to actually demonstrate that he was who he claimed to be, he reported.
Twitter didn’t reply to Fowler’s request for comment. But after he revealed what he had done, Twitter suspended the @SenatorEdMarkey account.
The point, Fowler wrote, is that Twitter doesn’t understand the “dangers of misinformation or the value of authenticated sources.” With Musk at the helm, users face a greater likelihood of “seeing something fake and thinking it is real,” he noted.