Valerie Bertinelli 'became' Elon Musk, trolled on Twitter to prove point about blue-check verification system

Valerie Bertinelli on "Today" on June 9, 2022.
Valerie Bertinelli on "Today" on June 9, 2022.NBC via Getty Images
  • Valerie Bertinelli posed as Elon Musk on Twitter to show flaws in his new verification system.

  • After changing her display name, she posted dozens of tweets in support of Democratic candidates.

  • She changed her name back on Sunday, writing: "I think I made my point."

Actor Valerie Bertinelli impersonated Elon Musk on Twitter this weekend, posting and retweeting in support of Democratic candidates under the guise to make a point about his newly proposed verification system.

Bertinelli first changed her name on Saturday, shortly after Twitter rolled out the billionaire's controversial paid-verification system, which requires users to shell out $7.99 a month to receive a blue checkmark.

Critics have voiced concern that the plan could foster the spread of misinformation by paving the way for impersonators acting as notable politicians, journalists, and celebrities. Several celebrities — including Shonda Rhimes and Sara Bareilles — have expressed plans to leave Twitter since Musk took over, citing concern with his leadership.

"The blue checkmark simply meant your identity was verified," Bertinelli wrote on Twitter after changing her name. "Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!"

Over the next several hours, the actor posted and retweeted dozens of tweets in support of Democratic candidates ahead of midterm elections Tuesday.

As "Elon Musk," she posted hashtags like #VoteBlueToProtectYourRights and shared tweets supporting gubernatorial candidates Gretchen Whitmore in Michigan and Beto O'Rourke in Texas, among others.

As other users pointed out, many of the tweets on their feed appeared as if Musk himself had actually retweeted them.

The actress, who recently made news after Matthew Perry claimed in his memoir that the two kissed while her then-husband Eddie Van Halen was passed out drunk next to them, began trending on Twitter on Sunday.

As buzz over her prank mounted, she opted to change her display name back, writing on Sunday: "Okey-dokey I've had my fun and I think I made my point. I'm just not a 'trending' kind of gal. Never have been, never want to be. Have a safe Sunday everyone! xo"

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