Twitter returned the “official” badge to some accounts, just a few days after removing it, while several users reported that the new subscription option for the blue checkmark had disappeared. The move follows a rise in fake accounts on the platform after new CEO Elon Musk allow users to pay $8 for the coveted blue checkmark that was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, actors, and other VIPs.
Fake accounts from several big brands with the blue check have surfaced, including Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX, as well as Roblox, Nestle and even of Jesus Christ, which is a parody account. Musk tweeted on Wednesday that he had “killed” the new label.just a few hours after launching it.
“To combat phishing, we’ve added an ‘Official’ tag to some accounts,” Twitter’s support account, which has the “official” tag, tweeted Friday.
The drug manufacturer Eli Lilly issued an apology after an impostor account tweeted that the insulin would be free, amid political backlash and scrutiny of high drug prices.
“We apologize to those who received a misleading message from a fake Lilly account,” the company said, reiterating the name of its Twitter account.
Among other examples, circulating on the platform a series of misleading tweets about Tesla from a verified account with the same profile picture than the official account of the company.
“Twitter has been working for the last couple of years to try and improve that (misinformation). And it looks like Elon Musk has figured it out in a matter of weeks,” said AJ Bauer, a professor at the University of Alabama.
Musk had said that Twitter users who engage in phishing without clearly specifying it as a “parody” account will be permanently suspended without warning. Several fake brand accounts have been suspended, including those of Nintendo and BP.
Meanwhile, many users said that the option to sign up for Twitter Blue, the subscription service that comes with blue check verification was gone. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Earlier in the day, Musk said his companies will be well positioned in 2023 despite the possibility of a tough economy. Mogul Musk’s tweet came a day after he mentioned the likelihood of Twitter going bankrupt.
In his first company-wide email, Musk warned that Twitter might not “survive the next economic downturn” if it fails to grow subscription revenue to offset falling ad revenue, three people who viewed the email told Reuters. message.
Many companies, including General Motors and United Airlines, have stopped or pulled advertising on the platform after Musk took over. In response, the billionaire said Wednesday that his goal was to turn Twitter into a force for truth and stop fake accounts.