Twitter restores “official” label; The $8 blue check mark option disappears

Twitter restores "official" label;  The $8 blue check mark option disappears
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Nov 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s Twitter Inc on Friday returned the “official” badge to some accounts, days after it was canceled, with several users reporting the disappearance of a new subscription option for the blue check mark.

The move follows a surge in fake accounts on the platform after new boss Elon Musk allowed users to pay $8 for a blue tick previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, actors and other major figures.

Fake accounts of several major brands, including Musk’s Tesla, have surfaced with a blue check (TSLA.O) and SpaceX, as well as Roblox, Nestle (NESN.S) and Lockheed Martin (LMT.N)🇧🇷

“Added ‘Official’ label to some accounts to combat impersonation,” Twitter’s support account with the “official” label tweeted on Friday. On Wednesday, Musk tweeted that he was “killing” the new label, hours after rolling it out.

Drug maker Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) Amid political backlash and investigations into the drug’s high prices, it apologized after tweeting from a fake account that insulin would be free.

“We apologize to those who received misleading messages from the fake Lilly account,” the company said, repeating the name of the Twitter account.

Among other examples, a series of false tweets about Tesla were circulated on the platform from an account verified with the same profile picture as the company’s official account.

AJ Bauer, a professor at the University of Alabama, said, “Twitter has been trying to improve this (misinformation) over the last couple of years. Apparently, Elon Musk opened it up within a few weeks.”

Musk said Twitter users who impersonate the “parody” account without publicly identifying it will be permanently suspended without warning. Several fake brand accounts, including Nintendo (7974.T) and BP has been suspended.

Meanwhile, many users said the option to sign up for Twitter Blue, the subscription service that comes with blue check verification, is missing.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

Earlier in the day, Musk said his company would be well-positioned for 2023, despite the possibility of a tough economy.

Musk’s tweet came a day after Twitter raised the possibility of his departure bankrupt🇧🇷 Three people who saw the message told Reuters that Musk first warned in a company-wide email that Twitter “will not survive the coming economic downturn” unless it can increase subscription revenue to offset declining ad revenue.

Many companies, including General Motors (GM.N) and United Airlines (UAL.O)there is paused or pulled back from advertising on the platform after Musk took over. In response, the billionaire said Wednesday that he aims to make Twitter a force for truth and stop fake accounts.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Edited by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Devika Syamnath

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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