After a major Twitter hack compromised a series of high profile Twitter accounts with many followers – from former President Barack Obama to Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, former Vice President Joe Biden, Kim Kardashian and Elon Musk – ‘unverified’ Twitter rejoiced.
The accounts were targeted as part of a bitcoin scam, according to The Associated Press and multiple news outlets. Tweets sent from these accounts offered to pay $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to a bitcoin address.
In an effort to address the hack, which began affecting these verified accounts and others on Wednesday afternoon, Twitter made it impossible for all verified accounts to post new tweets.
Verified Twitter accounts, denoted by blue checkmarks, might retweet posts, including their own, but that’s about it. Otherwise, any celebrity, business (including Apple and Uber), public figure, journalist, or other verified account was pretty much speechless.
“We continue to limit the ability to tweet, reset your password, and other account functionality while we review this,” the Twitter support account tweeted late Wednesday. “Thank you for your patience.”
Verified accounts regained their powers around 8:30 p.m. ET, but the change was fun while it lasted.
“Tough day for us on Twitter,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted later Wednesday night. “We all feel terrible that this has happened. We are diagnosing and will share whatever we can when we have a fuller understanding of exactly what happened.
During the verified temporary ban, those with unverified accounts riffed on their new status at the top of the Twitter heap. Those who could tweet duly mocked the limited accounts of others.
Suddenly, the blue checkmarks were so July 14th.
Unverified users boasted of a new “autonomous zone”, a place where anyone not held back by such endorsement could lash out, or at least be heard for lack of more “prominent” voices.
Glorious chaos reigned supreme. Instead of the real AP Stylebook, a parody account has popped up to take advantage of the situation.
“RELEASE THE OXFORD COMMA!” tweeted Temporary AP Stylebook. “LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION!”
“The word ‘wet’ is no longer consistent with AP Style guidelines.”
It was ‘when the cat is gone the mice will play’ for the pandemic era – also known as a party, and no blue ticks were invited.
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Amy Kuperinsky can be reached at [email protected]. Send advice on coronavirus here.