Twitter’s verification system Considering the author has been at the center of another storm on the platform, Crash has more twists and turns than Stephen King’s novel. King, a “traditional” verified user known as a horror novelist, could be expected to lose his blue check mark on April 20, the day Twitter owner Elon Musk announced his plans to remove all traditional users. the demarcation line.
But while those around him lost their blue ticks, Kim kept his. It soon emerged that Musk had selected the writer and two others — NBA star LeBron James and Star Trek actor William Shatner — for free blue checks. These new blue checks have a sticker that says: “This account has been verified because they subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.” King objected. “My Twitter account says I’m subscribed to Twitter Blue,” he tweeted. “I didn’t. My Twitter account said I had given a phone number. I didn’t.
More confusion ensued as Twitter backtracked on Musk’s all-or-nothing verification method. It now appears that the check mark for any traditional Twitter user who had more than 1 million followers before April 20 has been restored, along with a note stating that they were paid for it. Many claim they didn’t, which, if true, could expose Twitter to a host of legal problems.
“We can see a lot of potential legal ground with Twitter distributing blue checks to accounts that aren’t registered and don’t want them,” said Alexandra Roberts, a professor of law and media at Northeastern University. claim.” “Given that Blue Check claims to be targeting users who have subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone numbers.”
Laws Twitter could violate include federal laws banning false advertising or endorsements, state laws against unfair competition claims, and lawsuits for defamation and abuse of publicity rights, Roberts said. Any case under these laws (“none of which is a slam dunk,” according to Roberts) would need to show that Twitter’s false claims that celebrities paid for Blue constituted an endorsement of the platform’s service or commercial use, or that consumers saw that they would was misled.
Some scholars believe this scenario is possible.
Catalina Goanta said: “Musk’s practice of paying some celebrities to retain the blue checkmark can be seen as unfair or deceptive because it creates an impression on the public (including consumers) that these particular Celebrities are endorsing Twitter’s business model.”, Associate Professor of Law, Economics and Governance, Faculty of Law, Utrecht University. “Only LeBron James or William Shatner have the right to use their own public image and persona.”
The launch of Twitter Blue was not very successful. It reportedly made Twitter less than 1% of its targeted annual revenue. Aside from sending an automated poop emoji reply, Twitter did not respond to requests for comment for this story.
Twitter may also subject itself to regulatory action by putting a blue tick on reluctant users.
“The US, EU and UK have similar regulations in this regard, prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices that can manipulate consumers and influence markets,” Goanta said.
The FTC Act Prohibits Deceptive Acts or Practices That Affect Business — Claiming that countless celebrities and well-known people paid for subscriptions to Twitter Blue when they didn’t doesn’t seem like a good example. “It’s also possible that we’ll see some agency action,” she said. The FTC declined to comment.
Andres Guadamuz, a legal and technology scholar at the University of Sussex who specializes in intellectual property, said the platform could face similar action in the UK under “counterfeiting” laws. Because the check mark implies that the ticket holder has paid for the service, “it’s a misrepresentation,” Guadamuz said.
Celebrities can also attest to their reputations being damaged, given the widespread disdain on Twitter for those who pay verification fees.
“Any celebrity who wants to push back against Musk should seriously consider calling their lawyers,” Guadamuz said. “It could be a very strong case.”