Twitter accidentally verified an account pretending to be the novelist Cormac McCarthy, later removing the verification after McCarthy’s agent confirmed that the account did not in fact belong to the author of books such as The Road and All the Pretty Horses.
Via Rolling Stone:
New Republic journalist Alex Shephard confirmed the news on Twitter, saying he got verification from both McCarthy’s agent and publisher.
The account claiming to be McCarthy — which boasts the pretty conspicuously misspelled username “@CormacMcCrthy” — has been active with some regularity since October 2018, dropping the kind of ridiculous tweets that anyone who’s even passingly familiar with the 88-year-old author’s work would find hard to believe actually came from him. For example, from March 2020: “They’re called thong sandals not flip flops. Nitwits call them flip flops because that’s the sound they make but this is foolish. That’s like calling a gun a bang bang.”
As Breitbart News reported last year, Twitter previously verified a fake congressional candidate, while failing to verify an actual congressional candidate, Republican Anna Paulina Luna:
Twitter accidentally gave a “verified” checkmark to a fake election candidate, but it’s struggling to verify real people running for office. Despite guaranteeing that it would verify candidates, the platform has not verified Florida Republican candidate Anna Paulina Luna.
As Breitbart News reported last week, Twitter verified the account of “Andrew Walz,” a fake congressional candidate created by a 17-year-old high school kid.
“Verification” is the process by which Twitter attaches a blue, “verified” checkmark to certain accounts, usually those of public figures, celebrities, and major organizations. Verification adds prominence to an account and assures the public they are reading the tweets of the right person, not to mention providing certain account perks and tools.
Twitter told Rolling Stone that it de-verified the fake Cormac McCarthy account after realizing the error.
“The account referenced was verified by mistake and that has since been reversed. The account will also be required to adhere to Twitter’s parody, newsfeed, commentary, and fan account policy,” said Twitter.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.