The issue of Twitter Inc. users impersonating big brands encroached on CEO Elon Musk’s personal space on Friday.
The issue of Twitter Inc. users impersonating big brands encroached on CEO Elon Musk’s personal space on Friday, when a purported Tesla Inc. account, complete with Blue verification check mark, started posting about the car company he runs.
The account, named Tesla and bearing the handle @TesIaReal, racked up tens of thousands of likes in an eight-hour spree that touched on the carmaker’s safety, stock price and solar panels.
One of the most popular posts read: “We will be offering 10 thousand vehicles to support the Ukrainian military. Our cars are the most advanced explosive devices on the market,” while another said: “Everyone’s talking about Twitter going up in flames but our cars did that before it was cool.’
While obviously a parody account — and marked as such after Musk warned the platform would ban those not “clearly identified” as being so — it nevertheless highlights Musk’s problem with brand impostors setting up fake-but-verified accounts. On Friday he tweeted: “Going forward, accounts engaged in parody must include “parody” in their name, not just in bio.”
Since offering paying subscribers blue check marks, Twitter has faced a host of impersonation problems. One account claiming to be Nintendo Inc. posted an image of Super Mario holding up a middle finger, while another posing as pharma giant Eli Lilly & Co. tweeted that insulin was now free — forcing the company to issue an apology.
The writing may be on the wall for rogue posters. In an email to Twitter staff Wednesday, Musk wrote: “Over the next few days, the absolute top priority is finding and suspending any verified bots/trolls/spam.”
The Tesla impostor, at least, senses the end is near. One post stated: “We ride this til it combusts like a Tesla battery.”