When a wave of imposter accounts began using the verified checkmarks from Twitter’s Blue paid subscription service to post misleading tweets while pretending to be some of the world’s biggest brands, it created so much chaos that Elon Musk seemingly had no choice but to revoke the paid checkmarks entirely.
“Basically, tricking people is not OK,” Musk tweeted, as some users began reporting that the option to pay $7.99 for a Twitter Blue subscription had disappeared, while others who had been verified previously found that their “Official” blue checkmarks had been reinstated.
On Thursday night, a fake Lockheed Martin account with the handle @LockheedMartini and a Twitter Blue checkmark tweeted the aerospace and weapons maker will stop sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the U.S. “until further investigation into their record of human rights abuses.”
So someone paid $8 for Twitter blue and erased $5 billion in market cap from a big defense company!
In another example someone paid $8 for Twitter blue and wiped out $15 billion in market cap from a big pharmaceutical company
The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly saw a 4.5 percent drop in its stock after a single tweet.
“We are excited to announce insulin is free now,” read the post from a fake Eli Lilly account that had purchased a blue verification check mark using Musk’s new Twitter Blue subscription option. The account has since lost its blue check mark and gone private.
Over the course of a few hours, the insulin producer saw a 4.5 percent drop in its stock and had to issue a clarification on its official Twitter account, @LillyPad.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly issued an apology on Thursday clarifying it will not provide free insulin after a parody account (which has since been suspended) with a verification check and an image of the brand’s logo tweeted it would—while a separate parody account tweeted a fake apology, writing “We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Oil company BP, and produce distributor Chiquita were amongst the “victims” too.