Twitter seems to have halted its $8 monthly Blue service, which allowed users to pay for a verification check mark, after users abused it by impersonating famous people and brands.
The social media platform launched the service earlier this week permitting iPhone users to buy a checkmark, which was previously used to show a Twitter account user was authentic.
However, on Friday, the app on iPhone did not display the option to sign up for Twitter Blue indicating that the ambitious plan by new Twitter Inc CEO Elon Musk was facing headwinds.
The launch of Twitter Blue subscription service was met with tricksters on Twitter creating pseudo accounts on Twitter to imitate a number of famous people, celebrities and brands.
The new wave of impersonation accounts was indicative of how the social media platform would be flooded with misinformation through many check marks acquired easily at $8.
For example, one account imitating giant pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly caused a lot of trouble on Twitter after it tweeted out, “we are excited to announce insulin is free now.”
The alarming tweet remained on the platform for hours before Twitter took it down forcing the real Eli Lilly account to tweet: “We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account.”
The fake tweet message saw Eli Lilly’s share prices drop sharply alongside stocks of other pharmaceutical firms in the US including AbbVie, which was also impersonated on Twitter.
Musk’s electric car manufacturer, Tesla, was not spared either with an impersonating account, “@TeslaReal” using the paid subscriber blue checkmark to badmouth the firm.
“honestly the 53% drop in stock price doesn’t phase us. if there’s anyone who knows about Crashing it’s us,” it tweeted.
This comes as Twitter advertisers halted their spending due to the myriad of changes Musk is pushing after buying the platform at $44 billion on October 28 and firing top executives.
Some users who had already purchased the Twitter Blue service also lamented that the blue checkmarks they had recently acquired had disappeared from their social media accounts.
Musk and Twitter are yet to officially comment on the matter even as the Twitter Blue verification rollback left more questions than answers on its implementation modalities.