Chaos and confusion on Twitter have resulted from a recent influx of blue tick accounts that are paid to impersonate well-known people and brands.

On Thursday, fake “verified” profiles using the names of politicians, celebrities, well-known organisations, and companies began to surface on the platform.

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Many of them were suspended by Elon Musk-owned Twitter, but confusion was increased by the company’s inconsistent responses to the problem.

Musk tweeted on Saturday, “Rolling out soon, Twitter will enable organizations to identify which other Twitter accounts are actually associated with them.”

When a user asked, “Will any user be able to “be” / create an organization? Or will Twitter be the arbiter of what constitutes an organization?” Musk replied, “Ultimately, I think there is no choice but for Twitter to be the final arbiter, but I’m open to suggestions.”

Another user sought more clarification, “What if I’m an employee and I change jobs? Do I have to notify twitter so they can update which organization I’m associated with on twitter? Or is this self serve where I can submit an update when jobs change?”

Musk tweeted, “We will enable organizations to manage affiliations,” adding, “Increasing granularity about what “verified” actually means is the right move.”

Even though the “official” verification mark has returned, many accounts that spent $8 to be verified have kept up their impersonation of organisations, governments, famous people, and businesses.

Examples include a phoney SpaceX account bragging about its numerous federal contracts, a fake Kari Lake account claiming to have lost her election in Arizona, and a fake Apple account seeking to sell actual air.

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“Going forward, accounts engaged in parody must include ‘parody’ in their name, not just in bio,” Musk tweeted. “To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok.”

“We’re adding a “Parody” subscript to clarify,” Musk further added.

Experts have previously cautioned that the new Twitter Blue membership service, which allows users to pay $8 per month for a blue tick and was launched by the new CEO Elon Musk, will be instantly abused by dishonest people and con artists, undermining trust in the network.

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After the feature went live on Wednesday, the scope of the fraudulent blue tick account problem became obvious.

Major brand accounts for blue ticks, including those for Apple, Nintendo, BP, and Chiquita, were suspended. Fake accounts impersonating prominent figures, including Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and George W. Bush, as well as former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, were also deleted.

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While Musk was being impersonated, a fake Tesla account made jokes about 9/11. Tesla is another business that Musk owns.

One of the more disruptive accounts said “insulin is free now” while posing as US pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.

The business had to apologise and denounce the false announcement.