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Report: Companies Lose $7B in Value From Musk's Twitter Verification Overhaul

By    |   Monday, 14 November 2022 06:28 PM EST

Major corporate brands such as Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, and Nestle have reportedly lost "billions" of dollars in market value from Twitter's new blue-checkmark rollout, after that process spurred an influx of fake accounts duping investors.

In the case of Eli Lilly, The Washington Post reports the company's market capitalization recently decreased by more than $7 billion, after a number of fake accounts posing as the company messenger forced Lilly to post an apology tweet from its real Twitter account.

Also, this incident led to Lilly executives reportedly ordering a suspension on all Twitter-related advertising campaigns.

"For $8, [Twitter is] potentially losing out on millions of dollars in ad revenue," Amy O'Connor, a former senior communications official at Eli Lilly, told the Post

"What's the benefit to a company ... of staying on Twitter? It's not worth the risk when patient trust and health are on the line," added O'Connor.

On Friday, Eli Lilly's market share reportedly dropped 4.5% after a verified-user account — which had been mimicking Lilly's true profile — tweeted: "We are excited to announce insulin is now free."

That same day, Lockheed Martin's market value tumbled 5.5% after a verified account, posing as Lockheed Martin's real profile, wrote: "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. #WeAreLM"

And for Nestle, the parent company to Poland Springs, a verified account pretending to be Nestle sent this tweet: "We steal your water and sell it back to you."

Prior to Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter, the verified-account process was essentially limited to politicians, journalists, media groups, public figures, celebrities, and accounts which had built up strong followings among Twitter audiences.

After taking over Twitter, though, Musk quickly sought to end the exclusivity of Twitter verification. In its place, Musk favored an $8 per month subscription service available to the general public.

On Friday, Twitter temporarily suspended the paid subscription service.

And on Sunday, Musk teased more changes to the social platform.

"Rolling out soon. Twitter will enable organizations to identify which other Twitter accounts are actually associated with them," wrote Musk.

Also on Sunday, Musk announced the subscription service, Twitter Blue, would likely "come back end of next week."

Fake Twitter accounts pretending to be corporations recently hit home with Musk, who's also the founder of SpaceX and CEO of Tesla.

Over the weekend, an account pretending to be SpaceX tweeted: "It is with a heavy heart that we announce that we will be ceasing all missions. We plan to funnel $240 million in overstanding government subsidies to groups dedicated to sustainable agriculture and ending World Hunger."

And from a verified account posing as Tesla's Twitter persona, someone tweeted: "Honestly a 53% drop in stock price doesn't [faze] us. If there's anyone who knows about crashing it's us."

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Major corporate brands such as Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, and Nestle have reportedly lost "billions" of dollars in market value from Twitter's new blue-checkmark rollout, after that process spurred an influx of fake accounts duping investors.
elon musk, twitter, blue check, subscription
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2022-28-14
Monday, 14 November 2022 06:28 PM
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