Doug Ford’s ‘Parody’ account verified on Twitter

A « parody » account of Doug Ford has been verified on Twitter, with a blue checkmark.

The Twitter account, with the handle @DougFord_ON, is one of the latest of a number of accounts that received verification by purchase after billionaire Elon Musk took over the social media platform.

The platform’s blue check verification system has been in place since 2009 and was created to ensure that high-profile, public-facing accounts are who they say they are.

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Twitter will add an « official » mark to large verified accounts

Now, however, verification can be purchased for $8 per month after Musk changed the rules.

Experts have expressed concern that making the checkmark available to anyone for a fee could lead to identity theft and the spread of misinformation and scams.

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A look at the parody account for the Premier of Ontario confirmed that he received verification because he is subscribed to the new « Twitter Blue » service.

On Thursday night, Musk, who called himself « Chief Twit, » said any parody account « must include the ‘parody’ in their name, not just in their bio. »

“To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, deceiving people is not acceptable,” he said.

But as of Friday morning, @DougFord_ON had no « parody » in his name and remains active.

The bio, however, said it was a parody account.

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« This is a parody account. I don’t know what this word means, but I do know that I am the Premier of Ontario, » it read.

« I work until midnight every night. »

The account is also complete with the same profile picture the prime minister uses on his real account, @fordnation.

A number of other accounts appearing to be various notable characters have also been verified in recent days through purchase. Even @jesus has a blue tick.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced on Tuesday that it will also add a second gray « official » label to certain high profile accounts to indicate they are authentic. Friday morning, @fordnation had not had this second control.

Global News reached out to Ford’s office and Twitter to comment on the @DougFord_ON account.

— With files from the Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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