Tech expert exposes a major flaw in Elon Musk’s Twitter with the help of a VERY convincing Karl Stefanovic account – here’s what it means
- Australian tech expert Trevor Long has revealed Twitter’s big verification issue
- Elon Musk took over Twitter last month and unveiled a new Twitter Blue service
- Twitter Blue allows users to pay a fee to have a blue tick next to their account
- Mr Long says this will let people create fake accounts and impersonate others
- He created a fake Karl Stefanovic account that looked real to prove the big flaw
An Australian tech expert has unveiled a massive problem with the verification process on Twitter since Elon Musk’s takeover – and he’s used Karl Stefanovic to prove it.
Musk introduced Twitter Blue after acquiring the social media platform in October, with the new service allowing users to pay a fee for a blue checkmark on their account that was previously reserved for high-profile people, celebrities and organisations.
Trevor Long, who regularly features on Nine’s The Today Show, exposed the blatant shortfalls of the new service by revealing how users can make fake accounts impersonating someone famous.
To test this, Mr Long created a fake Twitter account of Karl Stefanovic – with the TV presenter’s permission – to show how simple it was.
An Australian technology expert has used TV presenter Karl Stefanovic (pictured with wife Jasmine Stefanovic) to expose the major flaw in Twitter since Elon Musk took over the social media company
Musk (pictured) concluded his takeover of Twitter last month and introduced Twitter Blue to allow users to pay a fee to have a blue checkmark next to their account name
‘Today Twitter expanded the Twitter Blue subscription service to a new $11.99 price tier which automatically gives you a ‘Blue Tick’,’ Mr Long wrote.
He then presented a screenshot of his fake Karl Stefanovic Twitter account.
‘That’s gotta be the real Karl right? He’s verified! Nope,’ he said.
The technology guru began following other ‘blue ticks’ who followed him back soon afterwards, adding to the legitimacy of his account.
‘The bottom line is, anything, anyone or any account can get a Blue Tick,’ he pointed out.
Mr Long said he was ‘fine with that’ as long as there was an actual verification process.
‘In a time when online abuse, bullying and fake news is rife, why not institute a process whereby ‘people’ are authenticated to allow for their Blue Tick via Subscription? Without that, it’s just a joke.’
Trevor Long created a fake Karl Stefanovic account (pictured) that appeared realistic with the inclusion of the blue tick paid for through Twitter Blue
Mr Long (pictured) revealed how this new paid service gives users the ability to create fake accounts and impersonate authenticated people, celebrities and organisations more easily
The tech expert showed that clicking the blue tick on a person’s account was the only way to tell the difference between an account that had paid for a blue tick and one that had been gained because the user is a notable person.
‘That’s simply not good enough,’ Mr Long said before slamming the billionaire Tesla boss for the fallible verification service and the dismal efforts made to suspend bots.
‘Changes on the fly are Elon’s thing. Changes without a plan are also his thing,’ he said.
‘Elon and Twitter say they are working FAST to crack down on fake accounts, and they will get permanent bans too – but that’s not enough.
‘We’ve seen huge problems with online and social ads featuring some of our best loved TV personalities which were just scams, trading on the good names and faces of Aussie celebrities. This Twitter Blue process wreaks of the same problem.’
Mr Long said fake accounts will be a major issue on the social media platform for a while until Twitter finds a simpler way to identify and delete them.
The technology guru pulled up his fake Karl Stefanovic Twitter account and the real one and showed how the only way to differentiate the blue ticks between both accounts was to click on the icon
Since taking over Twitter, Elon Musk has sacked half of the company’s global workforce, which consisted of 7500 employees, ended remote work and cut out a monthly day off for staff
It comes as Musk implements a raft of changes at Twitter since his $44billion acquisition of the company.
The new CEO has sacked nearly half of Twitter’s global workforce, which consisted of 7500 employees globally, including Australian staff at the company’s Sydney office.
Musk has also ended remote work for employees and has cut out a monthly day off that had enacted by the company since the Covid pandemic.
He also wants subscriptions to his new Twitter Blue service to account for half of the company’s revenue, according to an email he sent to staff on Wednesday.