How a Fake Twitter Account Got 22,000 Followers

If you’ve ever been on Twitter, you’ve probably seen a little blue check mark next to certain account names. These accounts are “verified” and usually belong to a major company, a celebrity, a music artist, a politician, or any other Twitter user that people would consider “famous.” This little blue check mark is to ensure that Ellen DeGeneres’ Twitter account is actually being used by Ellen DeGeneres and not by some 15-year-old boy in his basement.

So where do you get this little check mark of authenticity?

Twitter usually checks the email addresses of “highly sought users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, advertising, business, and other key interest areas” to make sure that they are indeed linked to that person. Up until recently, however, the Twitter account @PrivateVerified claimed to be able to verify your account with a check mark.

They tweeted messages such as “Retweet if you want your account verified” and “#RT this Tweet and mention us reasons why you should be Verified” and gained nearly 22,000 followers in 24 hours. They even tweeted about accounts that were already verified, saying things like “Congratulations @ThierryMoreau T7 your account has been verified” to add to their “credibility.”

Twitter eventually caught on to the fake account, they suspended it, however there are other accounts out there that are claiming the same thing, such as @Verifiedtwltter, @NextVerified, and @RequestVerified who all have a significant amount of followers.

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