Want to get kicked out from your Twitter account? Try changing the display name to Elon Musk.
The social media service is automatically locking down Twitter accounts that try to impersonate the famous tech CEO. The reason? Too many cryptocurrency scammers have been exploiting Musk's name to promote their schemes.
The account lockdowns appear to be geared at stopping spam bot. For a human, the restrictions can be easily lifted. When you change your profile's display name to Elon Musk, Twitter will say it's noticed some unusual activity on your account. To unlock it, you'll need to first pass a CAPTCHA test to prove you're human being, and then verify your mobile phone number.
The new safeguard, which was noticed by The Verge, is part of Twitter's ongoing effort to rein in spam over the platform. "This is an evolving challenge," the company told PCMag. "As such, we're rapidly developing our response to be more agile and effective in detecting these behaviors and enforcing our policies —particularly as it relates to deceptive cryptocurrency accounts in violation of our spam rules."
The cryptocurrency scams, which have been going on for months, generally involve a Twitter account impersonating a celebrity and then claiming to offer free Bitcoin to any followers. To receive the money, followers must first confirm their eligibility by sending a bit of their own Bitcoin to the scammer's virtual wallet.
The scams themselves can be easy to notice if you look closely at the Twitter account's handle and which celebrity it's impersonating; for instance, the fake account could be registered to @DoonaldTrump65 or @EloonMusk, neither of which belong to President Donald Trump's or Musk's official Twitter handles. Nevertheless, plenty of innocent people have fallen for the con, which has ended up generating thousands of dollars for the scammers involved.
Twitter didn't go into details into its latest efforts to root out the scams. But the automatic account lockdowns also apply to other notable figures in the cryptocurrency world including antivirus software creator John McAfee and Justin Sun, founder of Tron, a digital token. PCMag tried changing an account's display name to both names, and Twitter immediately locked it down.
Presumably, the new measure will prevent bots from automatically creating Twitter accounts to fuel the cryptocurrency scams. But it won't entirely prevent human users from changing their Twitter display names. All you need to do is pass the CAPTCHA test and provide a mobile phone number. Once you do, you'll be free to change your display name however you like it, whether it be to Elon Musk or Donald Trump.