Blue tick for terrorists on X? On Hezbollah’s account platform

Blue tick for terrorists on X?  On Hezbollah's account platform

According to a report from the non-profit organization Tech Transparency Project (TTP), X allegedly sold premium subscriptions to individuals considered terrorists by the United States. Specifically, we are talking about some leaders of the organization known as Hezbollah.

According to data collected by TTP, there are 28 accounts with the blue tick considered as at least “questionable”. All this, as expected, has reignited the bitter debate on how social networks should control users. If the platform of Elon Musk has been at the center of controversy several times regarding the level of freedom offered to users, social media has been open to ambiguous situations for years.

In the case in question, however, the names involved have particular relevance. Let’s talk about the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallahwhich in addition to the blue check can boast more 93.000 follower. Account verification, among other things, means that the member has presented a valid identification document.

However, Nasrallah is not the only controversial figure on X. There is talk, among many accounts, of Al-Saadi Gheddafi (son of Muammar Gaddafi), but also of the Iranian state information organ Press TV (also with a blue tick). Finally, the most “uncomfortable” X accounts also include Ansarallah, a Yemeni group known as Houthi officially considered terrorist by the United States government.

The uncomfortable blue ticks on X: from the leader of Hezbollah to Gaddafi’s son

According to TTP, most of the accounts were verified after Musk took control of Twitter and began requiring paid verification.

In response to the report, almost all the checks reported by the non-profit association were removed, subsequently issuing a statement via email to the site The Verge.

According to the spokesperson “Many of the accounts listed in the Tech Transparency Report are not directly mentioned in the sanctions lists, while others may have visible account checkmarks without receiving any sanctioned services“.

TTP then released a public statement, confirming the spokesperson’s theses, claiming that organizations that had not been “Appoint directly” in the appropriate lists. Despite this, TTP expresses doubts about how people and associations of this type can get the blue tick without getting the benefits linked to paid accounts.

US businesses are prohibited from engaging in economic transactions with people and organizations on the sanctions lists. It is also possible that someone has deceived the X verification system with imitation, a case study that has been widely documented in the past and is far from unrealistic.

It is not the first time that the social network has been in the spotlight in unedifying contexts. One of the latest cases involving X, for example, is that relating to Digital Services Act.


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