Billionaire Elon Musk’s changes to social media giant Twitter are already costing some corporations billions in total stock value.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (LLY) dipped 4.37 per cent Friday to US $352.30 — erasing over US $15 billion in market cap — after a Twitter Blue verified account impersonating the brand promised free insulin.
The tweet, sent around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, read: “We’re excited to announce insulin is free now.” The post remained online for hours, attracting over 3,000 likes and a whole bunch of retweets.
As of Friday, the impostor account @EliLillyandCo isn’t any longer verified, its tweets have been set to non-public.
The official Eli Lilly account responded Thursday afternoon with an apology, confirming that “Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad.”
The corporate joins the scores of other blue check marks suffering from parody accounts after Musk announced a latest policy allowing anyone to purchase “verification” for $8 a month. Pranksters impersonating celebrities, brands and even Musk himself have flooded the positioning with unflattering messages because the update launched Wednesday.
In response, Musk has reportedly suspended Twitter Blue sign-ups as of Friday afternoon, lower than 48 hours after the launch. The move was to “help address impersonation issues,” in keeping with an internal memo obtained by Zoë Schiffer of Platformer.
Confused users can tell who was verified before Twitter Blue and who paid $8 for the privilege by clicking on the checkmark in people’s profiles. Musk also confirmed the rollout of “official” badges for notable corporations and other entities — a gray badge found under the user’s name.
Eli Lilly, together with drugmakers Novo Nordisk and Sanofi, currently dominate the insulin market. Together, they account for all the insulin supply within the U.S. and 90 per cent worldwide.
The three individuals who discovered insulin, a life-saving drug, originally sold their patents to the University of Toronto for $1 each. Certainly one of the team members, Sir Frederick G. Banting, remarked: “Insulin doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the world.”
Eli Lilly was the primary company to mass-manufacture insulin, shipping its first industrial supply in 1923. In 2022, the corporate charges $82.41 for individual vials of their Insulin Lispro Injection, or $159.12 for a pack of 5 pens.
The corporate hasn’t responded to the Star’s requests for comment by the point of publication.