Twitter mistakenly verifies fake accounts

The social media company then permanently suspended the accounts and removed their blue badges.

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
Queenie Wong
Twitter Verification Badge

Twitter rolled out a new process for verification in May. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Twitter said Monday it mistakenly verified a "small number" of fake accounts before permanently suspending the users and removing their blue badges for violating its rules against spam and platform manipulation. 

The error has raised concerns about the company's new application process for verifying notable, authentic and active accounts because the blue badge is meant to help people determine if an account is trustworthy. 

Since Twitter rolled out the new application process in May, the company has been flooded with verification requests. Some users have complained their accounts aren't getting verified even though they believe they meet the requirements. Last week, the company said it would provide more details in emails about why an account didn't get verified.

On Sunday, data scientist Conspirador Norteño tweeted that six Turkish accounts created on June 16 that mostly had the same followers received the coveted blue badges. Two of the accounts appeared to have been using stolen photos.

Twitter attributed the mistake to a gap in training and procedures that the company says it's trying to improve. The social network didn't provide anymore details about how the error happened. The company said there's a team dedicated to reviewing these applications.