Fake Twitter accounts are exploding across the platform despite its new boss Elon Musk’s claims that the pay system would defeat the bots and trolls.

After Musk scrapped the site’s verification policies, “verified” fake accounts are getting a lot of attention, much to the chagrin of the companies and personalities they are spoofing.

The flood of impersonator accounts, including fake profiles for former US President George W. Bush and NBA star LeBron James, follows Musk’s decision to offer the platform’s blue check mark to any user for a $7.99 monthly subscription, instead of only verified accounts that are of public interest.

The fee he promised to implement was launched so users can verify accounts with the coveted blue check mark.

Shortly after Twitter rolled out the subscription service on Wednesday, a blue tick account pretending to be Bush tweeted “I miss killing Iraqis” accompanied by a sad-face emoji.

An account impersonating former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair retweeted the post, adding: “Same tbh (to be honest).”

Trolls also impersonated prominent sports figures, including Los Angeles Lakers forward James, with his fake profile announcing he had requested a transfer to another team.