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Fake Lebron James, Adam Schefter accounts among those tweeting non-news

Lakers Clippers Basketball
Posted at 1:15 PM, Nov 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-10 16:15:46-05

There's a saying that goes, "Don't believe everything you see on the internet."

But if Twitter were to be believed Wednesday, people would think LeBron James wanted to leave the Los Angeles Lakers and that ESPN's Adam Schefter was reporting Josh McDaniels is done as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Those came from fake accounts, which seem to be flourishing thanks to a policy change instituted under new owner Elon Musk. It allows anyone to pay for a blue verification checkmark without actually showing proof of identification.

James, the four-time NBA champion and four-time league MVP, regularly engages with his more than 52 million followers. So maybe it appeared plausible to some folks that he would request a trade via that medium with his Lakers off to a 2-8 start this season.

He did no such thing, of course.

There were nearly 10,000 engagements with the fake post purporting to be relaying information about McDaniels, whose Raiders are 2-6 in his first year in charge.

Eventually, that account was suspended.

While all that was happening with sports names, Musk held a Twitter Space to make the case to his advertisers that his vision would make Twitter a safer and more reliable experience for users. Many advertisers have pulled out or paused over fears their brands could show up next to hate speech or misinformation.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

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