Blue checks, ads, and crypto spam

Tip: do not visit any of the sites advertised by these accounts and under no circumstances give them moneyIf you’ve spent any time on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter) in recent months, you’ve probably noticed that cryptocurrency spam posts regularly appear as promoted ads. These ads are posted by verified accounts, and contain links to a variety of websites related to obscure cryptocurrency and NFT projects of no demonstrable legitimacy or financial value. Although X seems to catch many of these accounts sooner or later, new ones continually arise to take their place. Here’s a look at a set of 30 accounts that ran crypto spam ads in January 2024.astonishingly, charging $8 for a blue check has not ended spamTo gather the set of ads and accounts used in this analysis, I scrolled through the “Following” timeline on X’s “Home” tab multiple times over the course of two days (January 18th and 19th, 2024), and included each crypto spam ad in the dataset. Some of the crypto spam ads were served repeatedly, while others appeared only once. I wound up with 30 accounts, all of which had blue verification checkmarks at the time their ads were displayed. (I was also served various other types of ads during this period of time, and it is always possible that I missed some of the crypto spam ads that appeared.)these 30 accounts are likely just the tip of the icebergThe accounts posting the ads are a mix of older…Blue checks, ads, and crypto spam

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