Twitter has suspended its $8 subscription program that was launched last week.
Unleashing a circus
Upon launch a deluge of fake accounts impersonating famous people, brands etc started taking over, taking advantage of people who would easily fall for it since verification, or lack thereof, is only $8 a month.
Before Elon Musk took over the company the tick mark was a coveted symbol dignifying important individuals as verified.
Musk has now upended this, making the tick a free for all, $8 a month that is.
There is absolutely no requirement of any other ID proof or similar documents to get the tick.
Companies also targeted
Some of the biggest brands have been feeling the burn.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. had to post an apology after an account pretending to be them tweeted that insulin will be free.
An account posing as game company Nintendo,posted an image of Super Mario holding up a middle finger.
Musk’s own Tesla fell victim to such shenanigans, and the owner of the fake account joked about the carmaker’s safety record.
Lockheed Martin and SpaceX were impersonated as well as the accounts of various professional sports figures.
Types of verified accounts
Twitter has now started adding gray “official” labels to prominent accounts, making it clear that they are not impostors.
At the moment there are two sorts of verified accounts on Twitter.
One, which was already verified before Musk’s takeover and notes that “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.”
Second, the verified account is of the users who subscribed to Twitter Blue.
There’s possibly another major reason as to why Musk began the $8 subscription fee.
$44B too rich for the world’s richest man’s blood
Experts believe that the $44 billion deal was too expensive for Musk who is realizing that now.
In order to pay the amount, he sold shares worth billions from Tesla and has also accessed funding from the markets.
Troubles show no signs of slowing, as several advertisers have halted their advertisements on Twitter.
They are closely observing and trying to figure out the policies of the new leadership and the recent chaos of fake accounts will make them more skeptical.
Employees face daunting journey ahead
The remaining employees at Twitter might be wishing they were among those laid off.
Musk has warned them to brace for long hours of work as the company looks toward bankruptcy.
In his first company-wide email, Musk warned the survival of the company hinges on boosted subscription revenue to offset falling advertising income.