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Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin and more, companies lose billions in Twitter Blue chaos

Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin and more, companies lose billions in Twitter Blue chaos

Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin and more, companies lose billions in Twitter Blue chaos
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By CNBCTV18.COMNov 12, 2022 7:42 PM IST (Published)

A tweet from an imposter Eli Lilly jokingly announcing that “insulin is free now” meant that the company lost billions in its market cap.

Multinational companies like Lockheed Martin and Eli Lilly lost billions of dollars because of tweets made by impersonated accounts using Twitter’s new paid verification feature. The newly launched feature which allowed Twitter accounts to have a verified checkmark for just an $8 a month subscription had resulted in a deluge of fake accounts.

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While Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, had announced that the move would crack down on spam and bots, the fake accounts meant that the social media company had to halt Twitter Blue subscription.

While users choose to impersonate personalities like former US President George Bush to Jesus Christ to LeBron James, international corporations were not spared either. Companies like Tesla, PepsiCo, Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, Twitter and many others found themselves being targeted.  In some cases, tweets from these fake accounts weren’t just harmless jokes and satire.

A tweet from an imposter Eli Lilly jokingly announcing that “insulin is free now” meant that the company lost billions in its market cap as shares fell by five percent.

Aerospace defence company Lockheed Martin suffered from a similar fate when a fake account tweeted that company would halt weapon sales to countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel pending further investigation into their human rights records. This post cost the company billions when shares fell by over 5.5 percent.

Other companies like PepsiCo, Musk’s Tesla and SpaceX, as well as Roblox, and Nestle also saw shares dip briefly when fake accounts made more obviously satirical tweets.

The new paid verification feature was released just a week after Musk took charge at Twitter.

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