Verified Twitter accounts with blue check marks that bore the profile names of former President George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reminisced about the Iraq War on Wednesday.
“I miss killing Iraqis,” tweeted the Bush account.
“Same tbh,” responded the Blair profile.
Of course, it wasn’t really the former world leaders remembering their 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Instead, it was an anonymous user or users who were making a mockery of new Twitter owner Elon Musk’s updated verification process, which is available to those who pay $8 a month. They set up user names that looked similar to those belonging to Bush and Blair, then signed up to the paid system to earn the blue check mark.
To the casual observer, their exchange could have appeared to have been real.
As the fake Bush profile later explained:
“Y’all are missing the point about the $8. It’s a small price to make this app completely unusable and I’m assuming he is going to quickly learn we can get refunds from the credit cards we used if he suspends us prior to a month.”
Critics fear the new verification system will facilitate the spread of misinformation and make it easier to impersonate others, especially those public figures who refuse to cough up the monthly fee.
Musk has vowed to suspend profiles that impersonate others.
Twitter nixed both fake accounts within hours of the posts.