Fake Doug Ford Twitter account gets blue checkmark

There’s another verified Doug Ford account circulating on Twitter—but it isn’t real.

The parody account with the handle @DougFord_ON was given a blue verified checkmark over the last few days along with a number of other accounts that presumably paid for Twitter Blue, a new subscription fee.

Previously, blue checkmarks were given to accounts Twitter verified to be official public figures or real high-profile individuals.

Now, under the new leadership of Elon Musk, anyone who pays about $8 a month can receive a blue checkmark.

The parody account spoofing the Ontario premier was created in August and uses the same photograph as Ford’s official account.

“I don’t know what that word means but I do know that I am the Premier of Ontario,” the account description reads. “I work till midnight every night.”

Tweets have been posted by the account user sporadically since it was activated, but in the last 24 hours there have been nearly two dozen messages. The topics have been varied, from comments about Education Minister Stephen Lecce and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre to silly remarks about Tim Hortons.

In a few of them, the parody account makes fun of the fact that there is one in the first place.

“My friends, the only thing I hate more than a Doug Ford twitter impersonator is a rat. Snitches get stitches, folks.”

CTV News Toronto has reached out to the Premier’s Office for comment.

On Thursday, Elon Musk tweeted that any parody account must include the word “parody” in their name and not just their bio.

“To be more precise, accounts doing parody impersonations. Basically, tricking people is not ok,” he said.

As of late Friday morning, the Twitter account DougFord_ON did not indicate it was a parody in the name. It does, however, indicate it is a parody account in the description.

There is also a certified parody account of Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore. The user created the account sometime in the last 11 days.

The description says it is a parody, indicating the account is for “what I wish Dr. Moore would say and do.”

Experts have expressed concern about the new subscription-based blue checkmarks could create confusion and that some people may interpret information posted by those accounts as authentic.

Prior to the new subscription service, there were about 430,000 verified accounts on Twitter.

Twitter has begun to roll out alternative grey checkmarks to news outlets and public officials to separate them from the blue checkmarks. So far, the premier has not been given this classification.

With files from the Associated Press

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