Verification fears as Graham Norton’s Twitter reactivated without his knowledge

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TV presenter Graham Norton has expressed his “worry” after his Twitter account appeared to be hacked amid continued verification concerns on the social media platform.

The 60-year-old TV deleted his Twitter account, @grahnort, last year but posted on Instagram on Monday evening that the old Twitter page had been reactivated.

Posting to over 600,000 followers, Norton urged people to “spread the word” the account has not been reactivated by him, despite it still having a blue verified tick.

“I’ve just been told someone has reactivated my Twitter account. I’m now locked out of it,” said the Eurovision host.

“My worry is that whoever has access may try sending DMs asking for money or donations.

“Please spread the word that it is not me even though it still has a blue tick.”

Norton’s statement comes after Twitter failed to take legacy blue checkmarks off the social media platform, having committed to remove them on April 1 and confusion over changes made by Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Aside from fake accounts, Twitter’s blue bird logo was replaced this week with a small picture of a Shibu Inu dog, famously known as the Doge meme, in an apparent nod to the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

The SpaceX founder is being sued over an alleged pyramid scheme associated with the cryptocurrency, in a 258 billion dollar (£206 billion) US lawsuit brought by Dogecoin investors which the billionaire has asked to be dismissed.

There have been widespread concerns over verification on Twitter since blue verified checkmarks became a paid feature on the platform, with users paying a monthly fee of eight US dollars (£6.40) for a Twitter Blue subscription.

Several celebrities have shared examples of fake profiles impersonating them, including financial journalist and broadcaster Martin Lewis.

“So this fake account promoting crypto has a blue tick? Let’s see whether it is taken down when I report this impersonation,” Mr Lewis tweeted on Monday.

The account impersonating Lewis appears to have since been removed.

In a separate tweet, the Money Saving Expert founder said he contacted Twitter’s press office about the issue, only to receive an auto-response of the poo emoji.

“So when we emailed Twitter’s press office to discuss the blue tick verified fraudulent scammers account pretending to be me. The only reply is the auto-response below with one emoji,” he tweeted.

Many celebrities have indicated they will not pay for a Twitter Blue subscription, including basketball star LeBron James, model Chrissy Teigen and actor Ben Stiller.

Posting on March 31, ahead of the expected removal of Twitter blue ticks on April 1, James tweeted: “Welp guess my blue [tick] will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5.”

US publication the New York Times, which has 55 million followers on Twitter, has had its blue checkmark removed after it said it would not pay to remain verified.

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