Twitter Inc pressed pause on its recently-announced $8 blue check subscription after fake accounts proliferated on the platform – but the decision to suspend paid verification came too late for one pharmaceutical company.
American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly (LLY) lost billions after stock plunged on Friday because a fake account, verified with a blue tick, claimed “insulin is free now.” The tweet was sent on Thursday.
According to The Star, the company’s stock dropped 4.37 per cent on Friday - erasing over US $15 billion in market cap – after a fake account impersonating Eli Lilly promised free insulin.
Did Twitter Blue tweet just cost Eli Lilly $LLY billions?
— Rafael Shimunov is on Mastodon (@rafaelshimunov) November 11, 2022
We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account. Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad.
— Eli Lilly and Company (@LillyPad) November 10, 2022
Eli Lilly is only one victim in a flood of fake accounts that have mushroomed on Twitter since Elon Musk announced its new subscription guidelines for Twitter Blue.
Twitter Blue saga
Twitter moved on Friday to curb fake accounts that have proliferated since Elon Musk's takeover, suspending sign-ups for a new paid checkmark system and reinstating a gray "official" badge on some accounts, reported AFP.
Before this, the coveted blue tick was available only to politicians, famous personalities, journalists and other public figures, as well as government organisations and companies.
The @TwitterSupport account tweeted early Friday that a gray checkmark indicating an "official" account was coming back, only days after it was introduced -- then almost immediately scrapped.
An internal memo for Twitter staff, obtained by US media including The Washington Post, confirmed the feature had been temporarily disabled to "help address impersonation issues."
(With inputs from AFP)