The illustrious blue checkmark is revered by social media creators on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. For many, it means you’ve made it. For others already established in the industry, it means that you’re you, and no one can pretend to be you because you have verified yourself with proof of your identity. However, it seems as though the blue checkmark system has gotten Twitter into a bit of trouble as they recently admitted that they verified a well-known author…without proof of his identity. Turns out, the account was fake, and it has been pretending to be renowned author Cormac McCarthy for three years. Yikes.
McCarthy, best known for No Country for Old Men and Pulitzer-prize-winning The Road, is an 88-year-old author and playwright whose writing is identified by his graphic depictions and lack of punctuation. And although he promised a novel called The Passenger in 2015, it seems that he has stayed out of the spotlight ever since because the novel never came to fruition. Needless to say, it’s odd that an author—such an old author, mind you—would create a social media account after having retreated into his personal life. But on July 31 of this year, an account known as “CormacMcCrthy” tweeted the following tweet and immediately became a hit with McCarthy fans.
My publicist is on my case about my infrequent use of this infernal website
He says engagement is down and so are metrics and something something who cares
I wrote a tweet
Are you happy now Terry
— Cormac McCarthy (@CormacMcCrthy) July 31, 2021
The witty tweet (which gained over 100,000 likes and 10,000 retweets) obviously brought a lot of attention to “McCrthy’s” page, making people ask, is this really the Twitter account of the actual Cormac McCarthy? Well, even the likes of Stephen King were replying to the above tweet, and the account was verified, so shouldn’t it be his Twitter account? Turns out, the writer’s agent came forward and stated that the account “was obviously” not the real McCarthy, prompting an uproar of negativity towards Twitter’s blue check verification system that apparently verifies fake authors, but not actual social media creators.
Turns out, the account was verified without ever checking the identity of the account’s user. As of now, Twitter has not responded to how exactly this happened. All we know is that the blue checkmark verification system has been launched and relaunched over the years because of creator complaints. The creator behind the “McCrthy” account has also not responded to the mishap.