Elon Musk’s disastrous back-and-forth rollout of Twitter Blue has caused a multitude of communication problems between users and trolls, with fake news and information inadvertently going viral after users quickly see blue checkmarks and assume what they are reading is from a legitimate source.
Though much of the banter has been in good jest, one company is feeling the very real implications of the viral spreading of misinformation.
Eli Lilly and Company’s stock plummeted on Thursday after an account posing to be the pharmaceutical company claimed that insulin would now be free in the United States.
Screenshot via Twitter
Eli Lilly was down just over 4% in a 24-hour period by Friday afternoon and 20 points in early trading on Friday morning.
The account, which used the handle @EliLillyandCo, had the same username and profile photo as the official Eli Lilly and Co account which uses the handle @LillyPad.
Both had blue checkmarks, except the fake account had purchased its symbol after subscribing to Twitter Blue, making it seem legitimate to quick viewers on the site.
Eli Lilly responded from its official account late Thursday apologizing for the mixup.
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
The fake branding of the pharma company was one of many in the past 24 hours, with troll accounts impersonating companies across several industries, wreaking havoc across the site.
The verified brand situation is getting out of control. Quick thread of twitter blue brands, and brands who might be pissed off at Elon right about now. pic.twitter.com/bZ9PSqZKtf
— Read Jackson Rising by @CooperationJXN (@JoshuaPHilll) November 11, 2022
The fake account has now been suspended.