Musk's Twitter verifies fake Gianforte account

Joshua Murdock

A couple hours was all it took. 

That, and some impulsive decisions by the world’s richest man, were enough for a satirical Twitter account impersonating Gov. Greg Gianforte to be verified Wednesday as an official account on the social media platform.

In yet the latest short-lived and reversed decision from new Twitter owner Elon Musk, Twitter on Wednesday briefly rolled out a new form of account verification that placed a gray check mark on accounts that were supposedly verified as belonging to legitimate public entities. Musk, the world’s richest man, killed off the feature a few hours later.

The gray check mark was intended to denote accounts of public officials and government agencies. It was to stand apart from Twitter’s long-standing blue check mark for account verification, which formerly served to identify accounts as belonging to who they said they did. Musk announced plans to offer to anyone for a monthly fee shortly after his takeover. 

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But during the gray check mark’s brief existence, someone created an account nearly identical in appearance to the governor’s real Twitter account, substituting a lower-case “L” for the “I”

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