Assclown Alert is a column of opinion, analysis and snark.
Boy, it didn't take Texas billionaire and full-time internet troll Elon Musk long to turn Twitter into even more of a shit show.
In the roughly two weeks since Musk dropped $44 billion to buy the social network, it's slashed its workforce by half and experienced an exodus of both senior executives and advertisers. All while launching, then scrapping, features so fast it's left users' heads spinning.
Perhaps the worst example of the latter is Musk's decision to introduce a service that lets users buy a coveted verification checkmark for $8 a month. Almost immediately after Twitter launched the offer, phony accounts proliferated.
A fake Eli Lilly promised free insulin, while a phony LeBron James asked to be traded and a parody Tesla account — Musk's own car company — bragged about using child laborers.
Deluged with complaints, Twitter late Thursday night said it would resume identifying larger accounts as "Official" to fight fake accounts. Musk himself tweeted the following day that the platform would begin tagging parody accounts with the label "Parody."
Meanwhile, both the Federal Trade Commission and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts, have also issued stern warnings to Musk about the dangers of dicking around with one of the world's most-accessed social networks.
The irony here is that Twitter users themselves warned Musk just how badly his $8-a-pop verifications would go the moment he floated the idea in a tweet. Apparently, advice is wasted on assclowns and narcissists.