On April 20, 2023, Twitter posts began to make claims about Twitter CEO Elon Musk changing the verification status of U.S. President Joe Biden's personal Twitter account. It came after the social media platform began removing blue checkmarks from legacy users.
"SAVAGE: @elonmusk designates @JoeBiden as business account with a community flag," Twitter account @CarpeDonktum posted. It was attached to a screenshot that claimed the Biden account had a gold checkmark, which meant it was an official business account through Twitter Verified Accounts, according to Twitter's Help Center. The tweet claimed the account was labeled "10% owner of BidenFamily Inc, lobbying group."
SAVAGE: @elonmusk designates @JoeBiden as business account with a community flag. pic.twitter.com/LhR3gzdBbC
— Carpe Donktum???? (@CarpeDonktum) April 20, 2023
Another Twitter post from later that day claimed instead that Biden's personal account was unverified, and that it had a flag that said he was a government official. "Elon Musk is a disgrace," the post said.
The President of the United States is no longer verified. Elon Musk is a disgrace pic.twitter.com/jBuk2RMe6I
— Dash Dobrofsky (@DashDobrofsky) April 20, 2023
Here's what we know: Biden's personal Twitter account is @JoeBiden. The White House previously stated that it would not pay for its staff's official or personal Twitter accounts to be verified, as well as not pay to be verified as an organization.
At the time of this writing, the Biden account was verified with a gray checkmark as a government/multilateral organization or official. Eligible officials for this status include heads of state, like presidents, monarchs, and prime ministers, according to Twitter's Help Center.
There also was no label on Biden's Twitter account. Generally, flags on Twitter accounts have been used to designate bot accounts or "state-affiliated media." At this time, Twitter removed all "government-funded" and "state-affiliated" labels from media account profiles. The organizations had previously decided to stop using the platform after receiving a "government-funded" label.
At least one of the accounts that questioned Biden's Twitter situation said in its bio that posts were not meant to be taken seriously. "Eternally Sarcastic Memesmith," @CarpeDonktum posted. "Content I post was 'doctored' by me." A video of a supposedly "racist baby" that former President Donald Trump tweeted in June 2020 appeared to be watermarked by the account.