In this case, it seems that not even a $44 billion purchase and an $8 subscription could protect against forgers.
Twitter was quickly taken over by phony accounts with a blue tick after the release of Twitter Blue, a premium service established by Twitter’s new landlord Elon Musk. These accounts impersonated companies and spread false information.
The American pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was among the first to fall. A bogus tweet from an account claiming that insulin was free caused the corporation to lose over $15 billion in market capitalization. Starting at about $366, the share price dropped to around $346 before rebounding to $352.
A second account, posing as Lockheed Martin’s official handle, tweeted that the company was suspending arms shipments to Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United States until human rights breaches were reduced and an inquiry was launched.
Even Apple, Mark Zuckerberg, and past world leaders Tony Blair and Donald Trump have their own share of imposters.
A fake account for the agricultural product distributor Chiquita claimed to be part of a coup d’état in Brazil. In response, the company’s official account tweeted cheekily that they hadn’t staged a coup d’état since 1954, suggesting that it was referring to the recent events in Guatemala.
Existing Twitter blue service customers were going to keep their newly purchased tickmarks, but the deployment was halted for additional users across all jurisdictions till the impostor issues were worked out.
The impersonation raises significant security risks for marketers that use the site to reach out to potential customers.
On Friday (11 November), Musk made headlines again by saying a Twitter bankruptcy was possible. More high-profile Twitter employees have left since Musk took charge, including the company’s chief information security officer, chief privacy officer, and top compliance officer.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is in charge of protecting consumers’ rights, has said it is closely monitoring events on Twitter. Musk has said that the company’s negative cash flow over the next several months might lead to bankruptcy.