Barbados Times

Barbados, Caribbean & World News
Monday, Feb 06, 2023

Did Firms Lose Billions Due To Fake Twitter Accounts With Blue Tick? Theories Fly

Did Firms Lose Billions Due To Fake Twitter Accounts With Blue Tick? Theories Fly

Some Twitter users say "policy" tweets by impersonators led to share price fall for major companies; other argue "not everything is about Twitter"
The flood of "verified" blue-tick accounts on Twitter earlier this week — a fallout of Elon Musk's idea of making it available to anyone who pays $8 a month — cost some companies "billions", alleged several industry watchers on the social media platform. They blamed impersonators who used the company name, logo and a similar-sounding handle, got the handle "verified", and then tweeted "decisions" that spooked investors, leading to a fall in share prices.

Many cited the impersonation of US-based weapons maker Lockheed Martin. A handle called @LockheedMartini (notice the extra 'i' at the end) used the name of the company and tweeted: "We will begin halting all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States until further investigation into their record of human rights abuses."

The same day, the company's share price fell 5 per cent on the New York Stock Exchange, with many drawing a link between the false tweet and the drop. "Twitter Blue erased a few billion in market cap for Lockheed Martin," said one user.


But others countered the theory, showing that the defence industry in general was down.


Similar theories went around about medicine maker Eli Lilly, which too lost about 5 per cent value in share price on a day that a parody account with a verification mark said it would provide insulin for free.

But Twitter users argued that there were other reasons behind the fall: "Not everything is about Twitter."


The impersonating accounts were later suspended — like many others — as Elon Musk announced that such accounts should clearly identify as "parody". Quickly thereafter, Twitter Blue was paused, just days after it was launched after Musk took over two weeks ago.

For the record, there was a way to check for authenticity: the "official" tag on such companies' actual twitter accounts. But that tag, too, came and went, and then returned for some, adding to the confusion triggered by Elon Musk's many moves towards his stated target of reducing losses.

Stock market losses or not, companies certainly suffered an image problem.

Pharma major Eli Lilly apologised and clarified that it will not provide free insulin. In this case, another impersonator account, also verified, had tweeted a fake apology too: “We can do this whenever we want and there's nothing you can do about it.” Activists have for years said life-saving insulin should be distributed free of cost.

Activism or political commentary was a running theme. Another since-suspended verified account pretending to be British Petroleum tweeted, “Just 'cause we killed the planet doesn't mean we can't miss it.”

One account even impersonated TeslaElon Musk's automotive company — using a verified handle @TeslaReal, and called its electric cars "the most advanced explosive device in the world". The handle is since back, without those tweets or the blue tick.

Mass layoffs — Elon Musk has let go of half the company's around 7,500 staff — mean it's exceedingly difficult to vet accounts at the time of payment. Hence the pause on Blue until his next move.
Newsletter

Related Articles

Barbados Times
Close
0:00
0:00
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Tennessee Bill Would Imprison People for 3 Years If They 'Lie' About Rape to Get an Abortion.
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
×