Twitter shut off the ability for many people to tweet after massive hack

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Twitter completely disabled the ability for many accounts to send new tweets following a massive hack on the social media website on Wednesday afternoon, which has seen numerous popular accounts — including Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and others — tweet out a bitcoin scam.

As of 8:32PM ET, the ban appeared to have been lifted, and Twitter announced at 8:41PM ET that “most accounts should be able to tweet again.”

While Twitter didn’t confirm how the block worked, it appeared to only apply to accounts that have been verified by Twitter. Unverified accounts were still able to tweet normally, and verified accounts appeared to be able to retweet existing tweets.

A 6:18PM ET tweet from Twitter confirming that some users may be unable to tweet also noted that password resets may be disabled while Twitter works to correct the situation. Twitter said an hour later that it was continuing to limit tweets, password resets, and “and some other account functionalities.” Some Verge staffers were automatically logged out of their accounts after Twitter began limiting tweets.

Twitter’s verification system grants a blue checkmark to let users know that an “account of public interest is authentic.” Verification status is used by the company to signify that accounts belonging to brands, politicians, and other public figures are real. The verification process has been subject to plenty of controversy over the years, and Twitter has put the verification request system on hold since 2017 (with exceptions made for political candidates for the 2020 election cycle and public health officials in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic).

Update 7:42PM ET: Added additional context from Twitter support and that Verge staffers have been logged out of Twitter accounts.

Update, 8:52PM ET: Added that tweets should be functional again for most Twitter accounts.

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