Twitter Disables Ability To Change Account Names, Remove Blue Checkmarks

The social media giant has locked down various aspects of its service as trolls have paid $8 to the company to receive blue verification checkmarks.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Queenie Wong Former Senior Writer
Queenie Wong was a senior writer for CNET News, focusing on social media companies including Facebook's parent company Meta, Twitter and TikTok. Before joining CNET, she worked for The Mercury News in San Jose and the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. A native of Southern California, she took her first journalism class in middle school.
Expertise I've been writing about social media since 2015 but have previously covered politics, crime and education. I also have a degree in studio art. Credentials
  • 2022 Eddie award for consumer analysis
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Twitter appears to have disabled the ability for people to change their account names following a rash of impersonation attempts by trolls who paid $8 to the company for a blue check mark verification badge. Twitter had earlier disabled the ability to change user display names too, in response to trolls.

An error message saying user is denied from changing their account name.
Enlarge Image
An error message saying user is denied from changing their account name.

The error Twitter now gives when you try to change your account name.

Screenshot by CNET/Twitter

When CNET reporters attempted to change their account names through the service, they were met with error messages on the company's website and on mobile devices. 

Twitter, which no longer appears to have a public relations department, didn't respond to a request for comment.

The move marks the latest twist of Twitter's verification scheme under its new owner, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who took over the company in October

Over the past week, he instituted a new program to sell blue verification checkmarks to anyone who pays $8 per month for its Twitter Blue subscription service. Shortly after, trolls began impersonating various companies and people, including sports stars, journalists and even Musk's other company, Tesla.