Twitter has a lot of big problems, and one of them involves using the hype surrounding cryptocurrency to scam people out of their money. One solution it's come up with? Locking any unverified accounts that change their profile name to 'Elon Musk'.
Evidently there's been a surge of people pretending to be the SpaceX CEO, especially in replies to his actual tweets, so any accounts that are both unverified and not linked to a phone number will be locked if they change their name to Elon Musk. I just gave this a try on a secondary Twitter account I haven't properly used for years, and can confirm that the account gets locked immediately after you confirm the name change.
As you can see, regaining access to the account requires you to fill out one those irritating CAPTCHA forms, and add a phone number to your account to prove you're just joking around and not some sort of criminal. Sadly your account will still be locked if you have a phone number linked to your account, as I just found out. But once you've done that and proved you're not a cybercriminal or bot you can keep your name as Elon Musk or change it back and forth as you see fit.
Telling The Verge Twitter said:
“As part of our continuing efforts to combat spam and malicious activity on our service, we’re testing new measures to challenge accounts that use terms commonly associated with spam campaigns. We are continually refining these detections based on changes in spammy activity.”
That said it apparently refused to divulge any other celebrity names that had the same sort of protections as Musk. Cue large numbers of people changing their account names of different celebrities to try and find the most obscure famous people. Probably best to start with celebrities that have been involved in genuine crypto schemes, like Steven Seagal or Akon. [The Verge]