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X verifies fake account of Deer Park, Texas Police Department

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A fake account which called itself the Deer Park Police Department in Texas was verified by X for several days, officials confirmed Wednesday after posts from the account were widely shared on the app formerly known as Twitter.

The @deerparkpd account was created in late June and given a grey checkmark, which implies the account was manually reviewed by X employees and verified as a government agency.

“This is not our account, and I am not sure how it came to be,” Deer Park Police Chief Greg Grigg told BNO News on Wednesday. He said the department would look into it.

The fake account claimed to represent a village near Dallas but no such community exists, as the only place in Texas called Deer Park is a city near Houston. The fake town also had a website with news and events.

“Come join us on Thursday, July 4 for the annual Deer Park Fourth of July Celebration at Mari Memorial Gardens,” said a news article on the fake town’s website. Records show the website was created on June 26.

Posts and screenshots from the account were widely shared on X and the fake police department had more than 13,000 followers when it was deactivated at 4 p.m. ET, shortly after this article was published.

The owner of the account then reached out to BNO News and identified themselves as a minor, saying the account was created as an inside joke among friends with no ill intentions.

“I made up a fake village called ‘Deer Park’ and made my own website and social media accounts for the fake village,” the creator said. “I then requested a checkmark through X’s official grey checkmark request page, and they accepted it.”

The creator added: “Just to be clear, I had no knowledge that a real city by the name of Deer Park existed, and I had no intentions of impersonating them. I simply wanted to make a funny parody account for a made up village that’d hopefully get a few laughs out of people.”

The creator said X approved the grey checkmark without any verification.

“They didn’t ask anything further,” they said. “I simply filled out the request form and a couple of days later I got an email stating my account was going to get a grey checkmark.”

On Tuesday night, the account also shared a screenshot of an email from X, which said: “Thank you for submitting your request. Your account has met our eligibility criteria and will soon display a grey checkmark.”

X did not respond to a request for comment.

The account was reactivated on Wednesday night, this time with the verification badge removed and “PARODY” added to both the display name and bio.

The fake town’s website
A screenshot shared by the account showed an email from X

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