The menace of cryptocurrency scams circulating on Twitter isn’t showing any signs of going away, which has left celebrities and Twitter management both in a state of frustration. As a result, new methods of curbing this menace are being formulated everyday. You might have seen ‘Not giving away ETH/ETC/BTC’ styled phrases being added by people to the names on their Twitter profiles, and now Twitter has itself found a new way to combat the cryptocurrency scammers on its platform. From now on if you have an unverified account (not verified with a phone number) and you change its name to Elon Musk, the account will be locked out instantly. And once it has been locked out, to regain access you’ll have to pass a captcha test and verify your account with a phone number.
Speaking about this latest change to combat the issue of crypto scams a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge:
“As part of our continuing efforts to combat spam and malicious activity on our service, we’re testing new measures to challenge accounts that use terms commonly associated with spam campaigns. We are continually refining these detections based on changes in spammy activity.”
The company didn’t comment on whether similar measures have been implemented for any other public figures too or not, but it completely makes sense to implement the feature for other popular figures as well because many other people have also been the target of such scams. Examples include Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao and even the official accounts of crypto exchanges.
So far, so good. But there’s a catch – you can keep your display name Elon Musk if you’ve verified your account. The reasoning behind this choice is that the feature has been designed to combat the bots that try to impersonate Musk. Basically speaking, you’re probably allowed to impersonate him if you’re a human and not a bot! I said ‘probably’ because I don’t know for how long a verified account will be allowed by Twitter to live with the display name of Elon Musk!
The crypto scammers on Twitter impersonating Musk and other popular figures often tweet their scam links in the replies of tweets coming from Musk’s official account. Anyone who’s fluent in the online world can spot these scams due to different usernames, but those who’re not too internet savvy may easily fall prey to the fake authenticity projected by these profiles. Twitter had also tried to mass-ban these accounts in March, but scammers have been creating new profiles at a speed that is much faster than Twitter’s speed of banning accounts.
Now it will be interesting to see how effective this new method will be in curbing the menace of crypto scams on Twitter. My guess is that bots will find methods to get their accounts verified, so not much of a benefit will come out of this approach. But let’s wait and watch!