Twitter's new paid verified feature causes mayhem after fake LeBron James account demands trade
Social media sleuths are already abusing Twitter's new paid verification feature by impersonating the biggest sports stars on the planet.
Unfortunately for Lebron James, we has one of the first high-profile victims.
With Elon Musk at the helm, the social media giant has began rolling out its Twitter Blue subscription service, allowing users to pay for the blue verified badges.
And, of course, it was only a matter of time before trolls started abusing the new feature.
Someone pretending to be LeBron James sent the NBA community into a frenzy with one single tweet.
An account named @KINGJamez with a blue tick tweeted: "I am officially requesting a trade."
"Thank you #LakersNation for all the support through the years. Onto bigger and better things! #ThekidfromAKRON #ImComingHome."
Here was the tweet. They're banking on the fact that their moderation team will catch up to every single account impersonating someone — even if that person is impersonating a no-name government official.— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) November 9, 2022
This is going to be a nightmare that'll be very funny before it's scary. pic.twitter.com/8jdi2muxlV
For anyone scrolling through the platform, you wouldn't think twice about the tweet itself, despite it being pretty shocking.
But upon closer inspection, the handle itself is misspelt and the account comes nowhere near close to matching real LeBron's 52 million followers.
That said, with Twitter's blue verified tick next to the name, it certainly looks legit.
It seems LeBron wasn't the only sports figure to fall victim though with a different verified account pretending to be respected ESPN insider Adam Schefter.
This account also raised eyebrows after claiming Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels had been fired – less than 12 months after being hired.
Twitter, particularly Elon Musk, seems to have stuck by their decision however.
"Please note that Twitter will do lots of dumb things in coming months," Musk tweeted.
"We will keep what works & change what doesn’t."
I dont know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech. https://t.co/Sy0jvXIBnC— LeBron James (@KingJames) October 29, 2022
This isn't the first time LeBron has had run-ins with the platform though.
Last month, the NBA megastar called on Musk to take action after the use of the n-word on Twitter had spiked by 500% since the billionaire business mogul's $44 billion takeover.
LeBron tweeted: "I don't know Elon Musk and, tbh, I could care less who owns Twitter. But I will say that if this is true, I hope he and his people take this very seriously because this is scary AF. So many damn unfit people saying hate speech is free speech."
The post went viral, racking up well over 100,000 likes on Twitter alone with a further 20,000 users sharing it.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy/Twitter
- NBA icon LeBron James makes pitch to Liverpool owners FSG over £2.3bn deal
- LeBron James ripped to shreds by fans over the legitimacy of his Takeoff tribute
- NBA retires Bill Russell's jersey number in league-first, LeBron will keep his
- LeBron James demands action from Elon Musk after n-word usage surges by 500 per cent since Twitter takeover