Twitter Blue subscriptions not available after a bunch of fake accounts

Twitter Blue subscriptions not available after a bunch of fake accounts

Twitter’s relaunched premium service was unavailable on Friday after the social media platform was inundated with a wave of self-approved scam accounts.

Twitter’s relaunched premium service — which gives “verified” blue check ratings to anyone willing to pay $8 a month — was unavailable Friday after the social media platform was inundated with a wave of self-approved fraudulent accounts.

It’s the latest injury thriller change in the service as uncertainty has become the norm since billionaire Elon Musk took over the reins two weeks ago. Prior to that, the blue check was given to government agencies, businesses, celebrities and journalists verified by the platform – specifically to prevent identity theft. Now, anyone can have one as long as they have a phone, a credit card, and $8 a month.

A fraudulent account pretending to be pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. and registered under the revamped Twitter Blue by tweeting that the insulin was free, forcing Indianapolis to post an apology. Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, Musk’s private companies Tesla and SpaceX have also been impersonated, as well as the accounts of many professional sports and political figures.

For advertisers who have pulled out of business with Twitter, fake accounts may be the last straw: a rocky Musk above the platform — laying off half of its workforce and causing high-profile departures — has raised questions about its viability.

Scammers can cause major problems, even if they are quickly eliminated.

Lou Pascalis, longtime director of marketing and media and former head of global media at Bank of America, said they created “serious reputational risk for placing advertising investments on the platform.” Additionally with “verified” fake brand accounts, “a picture of a platform emerges in disarray that no media professional would risk their career by continuing to make advertising investments, and no governance body or senior executive would condone if they did that.”

Adding to the confusion, Twitter now has two categories of “blue checks” and they look identical. One includes accounts that were verified before Musk took over. It notes, “This account has been verified as being prominent in government, news, entertainment, or any other specific category.” The other notes that the account is subscribed to Twitter Blue.

But as of midday Friday, Twitter Blue is not available to sign up.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted that “many ‘corrupt blue’ check marks exist, so there is no choice but to remove the old blue in the coming months.”

An email sent to the press Twitter address went unanswered. The company’s communications department has been destroyed in layoffs and Twitter has not responded to Associated Press inquiries since October 27, when Musk took over.

On Thursday evening, Twitter also started again adding gray “official” labels to some notable accounts. She rotated the posters earlier this week, only to kill them a few hours later.

They returned Thursday night, at least for some accounts — including that of Twitter, as well as major companies like Amazon, Nike and Coca-Cola, before many disappeared again.

It also appears that the celebrity did not receive the “official” rating.

Twitter relies heavily on advertising and about 90% of its revenue comes from advertisers. But every change Musk introduces — or backs down — makes the site less attractive to the big brands.

“It has become a mess,” said Richard LeVeque, CEO of public relations firm LeVeque. “Who buys in a mess?”

Levick added that the biggest problem for Musk may be the risks to his reputation as the typical technical executive, as various types of verifications and other changes have been thrown out with failure.

“It’s another example that isn’t well thought of, and that’s what happens when you rush,” LeVeque said. “Mask was known as a visionary and a reliable magician – he can’t lose that title and that’s the risk right now,” said LeVeque.

Twitter is a small part of the total advertising spend of the largest companies that advertise on the platform. Google, Amazon, and Meta account for about 75% of digital advertising globally, and all the other platforms combined make up the remaining 25%. Twitter accounts for about 0.9% of global digital advertising spending, according to Insider Intelligence.

“For most marketers on budgets, Twitter has always been the thing that’s potentially too big to be completely overlooked but not big enough to care about,” said Mark DiMacimo, chief creative officer of marketing agency DiGo.

“None of this is a forever moral or ethical position from the advertisers’ point of view,” he added. “If Musk proves to be a civilizing force in the long run, advertisers will come back – if Twitter still exists. It’s a decision ‘for now’ – why is there now?”

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