Fake Disney account suspended hours after Twitter awarded it gold tick

In the latest twist that is Twitter’s verified account saga, a fake Disney account that was given a gold tick has since been suspended.

The account, @DisneyJuniorUK, has no affiliation with the global brand. It was started in June 2021 by the user @7virtues_ and, according to the BBC, had been tweeting ‘vile content’. It has 4,697 followers.

Last week Twitter began removing most of its ‘legacy’ blue ticks, the platform’s original verification symbol, as long pledged by CEO Elon Musk. Those with existing blue ticks could keep them by subscribing to Twitter Blue for $8 a month (£6.40), but many accounts, including those run by large media brands, have not signed up.

The gold tick applied to @DisneyJuniorUK is given to organisations and businesses that pay $1,000 a month (£800). However, the company’s policy has gone back and forth, temporarily applying them to a number of large media companies, including Metro, before later removing them, and granting them free to other accounts.

A third status, the grey tick, is given to official government accounts.

After spotting the gold tick, @DisneyJuniorUK’s owner tweeted: ‘this [sic] isn’t actually real right. someone [sic] pinch me or something.’

The post led Twitter’s mistake to go viral, and later resulted in the account’s suspension. Twitter has been approached for comment.

The official @DisneyJunior account, which has almost 49,000 followers, also has a gold verification tick, but it is not known whether this is paid for or not. Over the weekend a number of journalists, celebrities and sports personalities with more than a million followers had their blue ticks reinstated after Mr Musk said he was ‘personally paying’ for them.

Author Stephen King, who prompted the admission when querying the return of his tick, tweeted: ‘I think Mr Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only $8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more.’

In further tick-related confusion, the accounts of several deceased celebrities were given Twitter Blue verification, including Michael Jackson, basketball legend Kobe Bryant and assassinated journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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