Twitter suspends paid verifications after impersonators misuse the service
Twitter stopped its $7.99/month Blue subscription programme after users impersonated companies and celebrities.
Twitter launched the feature in its iPhone app last week, allowing users to buy a verified checkmark. Friday, the iPhone app no longer offers Twitter Blue signup.
The swift suspension shows CEO Elon Musk’s strategy to collect fresh income from consumers isn’t working.
Paid subscriptions lead to many fake Twitter accounts. Many cheap checkmarks were used to imitate corporations, politicians, and celebrities with disparaging comments.
Twitter pulled back on Twitter Blue verification due to impersonators, a sales staffer stated.
The employee, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorised to talk for Twitter, claimed an account impersonating Eli Lilly caused an issue when it tweeted, “insulin is free now.”
The tweet was removed hours afterwards. The actual Eli Lilly account afterwards tweeted, “we are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
Eli Lilly’s stock price decreased after the fake tweet, as did AbbVie’s. At the time, major stock indices were rising.
An impostor criticised Tesla using the paying subscriber blue checkmark. “@TeslaReal” tweeted a barrage of nasty messages, including “the 53% stock price drop doesn’t phase us.”
So many Twitter adjustments have caused advertisers to delay spending.
Some paid users say their blue checkmarks have disappeared.
Twitter couldn’t immediately respond. Musk had no remark.
Musk and Alex Spiro, Twitter’s senior lawyer, are reassuring staff, advertisers, and regulators that they will comply with all laws and requirements of a former FTC consent agreement.
Elon Musk stated in a companywide email on Thursday night, “I cannot emphasise enough that Twitter will do whatever it takes to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the FTC consent decree. Anything you read to the contrary is absolutely false. The same goes for any other government regulatory matters where Twitter operates.”
Spiro stated in a subsequent e-mail that his team spoke with FTC authorities on Thursday and that Twitter will shortly undergo its “first compliance check.” He said Twitter, not its employees, would be accountable for any infringement.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and safety, and Lea Kessner, its chief of information security, have left since Musk took charge.