November 11 (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s Twitter Inc brought back the “official” badge to some accounts on Friday, just days after removing it, while several users reported that the new subscription option for the tick mark of blue check was gone.
The move follows a rise in fake accounts on the platform after new boss Elon Musk allowed users to pay $8 for the coveted blue tick that was previously reserved for verified accounts of politicians, actors and other major personalities.
“To combat identity theft, we have added an ‘official’ label to some accounts,” the Twitter support account – which bears the ‘official’ tag – tweeted on Friday. Musk tweeted on Wednesday that he had “killed” the new label, just hours after it was rolled out.
Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) issued an apology after an impostor account tweeted that insulin would be free, amid political backlash and scrutiny over the drug’s high prices.
“We apologize to those who received a misleading message from a fake Lilly account,” the company said, reiterating its Twitter account name.
Among other examples, a number of misleading Tweets about Tesla from a verified account with the same profile picture as the company’s official account were posted on the platform.
“Twitter has been working for the past few years to try to ameliorate this (misinformation). And it looks like Elon Musk unraveled it in a matter of weeks,” said AJ Bauer, a professor at the University of Alabama.
Musk had said that Twitter users who engage in impersonation without clearly specifying it as a “parody” account would be permanently suspended without warning. Several fake brand accounts, including those of Nintendo (7974.T) and BP, have been suspended.
Meanwhile, many users have reported that the option to sign up for Twitter Blue, the subscription service that comes with blue check verification, has disappeared.
Twitter did not respond to a request for comment on this.
Earlier today, Musk said his companies would be well positioned in 2023 despite the possibility of a tough economy.
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 would not be able to “survive the coming economic downturn” if it failed to grow subscription revenue to offset the downturn. drop in ad revenue, three people who saw the post told Reuters.
Many companies, including General Motors (GM.N) and United Airlines (UAL.O), took a break or retired from advertising on the platform after Musk took over. In response, the billionaire said on Wednesday that he aims to make Twitter a force for truth and stop fake accounts.
Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil and Devika Syamnath
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