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Elon Musk’s Twitter Blue snafu could cost millions

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Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, said it’s hard to be him. Musk made the comment while speaking to the B20 business forum ahead of the G20 Summit. It’s likely hard to juggle being the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, but critics say some of Musk’s problems are self-induced, particularly the current kerfuffle over Twitter Blue.

Traditionally, Twitter used a blue check mark to confirm that verified accounts belonged to actual people or entities. Last week, Musk rolled out Twitter Blue, his first major product launch since taking the helm at the social media giant.

Twitter Blue lets anyone with $8 a month get a check mark. Almost immediately, users took advantage of the new tool to create spoof accounts. One person claiming to be former President George W. Bush tweeted they “missed killing Iraqis.” And an account claiming to be pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly tweeted out that all insulin would now be free. Eli Lilly paused all advertising on Twitter last week, a move that could cost Musk millions.

Twitter also pressed pause on Twitter Blue for now and removed some of the fake accounts with a blue check mark but others still exist. The stream of misinformation isn’t just troubling to Twitter. It could have some other dire unintended consequences as well.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel across the world have used Twitter as a means to convey vital information quickly. However, using Twitter Blue makes it difficult for some users to know who to trust.

The State of Washington’s Emergency Management Division took the proactive step of teaching users how to verify Twitter accounts run by government offices. The Washington EMD tips included looking for official websites linked to the account, checking on the age of the account and seeing what other accounts the account in question follows.

Musk fired half of Twitter’s 7,500 person workforce earlier this month. According to a transcript from a recent meeting with employees, Musk said if the company doesn’t start turning a profit, bankruptcy is not out of the question.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ELON MUSK, THE WORLD’S RICHEST MAN, SAYS IT’S HARD TO BE HIM.

MUSK MADE THE COMMENT WHILE SPEAKING TO THE B-20 BUSINESS FORUM AHEAD OF THE G-20 SUMMIT.

TO BE FAIR, IT’S LIKELY HARD TO JUGGLE BEING THE CEO OF TESLA, SPACEX AND TWITTER. BUT CRITICS SAY SOME OF MUSK’S PROBLEMS ARE SELF-INDUCED, PARTICULARLY THE CURRENT KERFUFFLE OVER TWITTER BLUE.

TRADITIONALLY, TWITTER USED THE BLUE CHECK MARK TO CONFIRM IT HAD VERIFIED ACCOUNTS BELONGED TO ACTUAL PEOPLE OR ENTITIES.

LAST WEEK, MUSK ROLLED OUT TWITTER BLUE, HIS FIRST MAJOR PRODUCT LAUNCH SINCE TAKING THE HELM AT THE SOCIAL MEDIA GIANT.

TWITTER BLUE LET ANYONE WITH 8 BUCKS A MONTH GET A CHECK MARK. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, USERS TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW TOOL TO CREATE SPOOF ACCOUNTS.

ONE PERSON CLAIMING TO BE FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH TWEETED THEY MISSED KILLING IRAQIS.

AND AN ACCOUNT CLAIMING TO BE PHARMACEUTICAL GIANT ELI LILLY TWEETED OUT THAT ALL INSULIN WOULD NOW BE FREE.

ELI LILLY PAUSED ALL ADVERTISING ON TWITTER LAST WEEK, A MOVE THAT COULD COST MUSK MILLIONS.

TWITTER ALSO PRESSED PAUSE ON TWITTER BLUE FOR NOW,  AND REMOVED SOME OF THE FAKE BLUE CHECK ACCOUNTS BUT OTHERS STILL EXIST.

THE STREAM OF MISINFORMATION ISN’T JUST TROUBLING TO TWITTER. IT COULD HAVE SOME DIRE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AS WELL.

LAW ENFORCEMENT AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL ACROSS THE WORLD HAVE USED TWITTER AS A MEANS TO CONVEY VITAL INFORMATION QUICKLY, BUT UNDER TWITTER BLUE, IT’S DIFFICULT FOR SOME USERS TO KNOW WHO TO TRUST.

THE STATE OF WASHINGTON’S EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION TOOK THE PROACTIVE STEP OF TEACHING USERS HOW TO VERIFY TWITTER ACCOUNTS RUN BY GOVERNMENT OFFICES.

THE WASHINGTON EMD TIPS INCLUDED LOOKING FOR OFFICIAL WEBSITES LINKED TO THE ACCOUNT, CHECKING ON THE AGE OF THE ACCOUNT, AND SEEING WHAT OTHER ACCOUNTS THE ACCOUNT IN QUESTION FOLLOWS.

MUSK FIRED HALF OF TWITTER’S 7500 PERSON WORKFORCE LAST WEEK. ACCORDING TO A TRANSCRIPT FROM A RECENT MEETING WITH EMPLOYEES, MUSK SAID IF THE COMPANY DOESN’T START TURNING A PROFIT, BANKRUPTCY IS NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION.

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Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, said it’s hard to be him. Musk made the comment while speaking to the B20 business forum ahead of the G20 Summit. It’s likely hard to juggle being the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, but critics say some of Musk’s problems are self-induced, particularly the current kerfuffle over Twitter Blue.

Traditionally, Twitter used a blue check mark to confirm that verified accounts belonged to actual people or entities. Last week, Musk rolled out Twitter Blue, his first major product launch since taking the helm at the social media giant.

Twitter Blue lets anyone with $8 a month get a check mark. Almost immediately, users took advantage of the new tool to create spoof accounts. One person claiming to be former President George W. Bush tweeted they “missed killing Iraqis.” And an account claiming to be pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly tweeted out that all insulin would now be free. Eli Lilly paused all advertising on Twitter last week, a move that could cost Musk millions.

Twitter also pressed pause on Twitter Blue for now and removed some of the fake accounts with a blue check mark but others still exist. The stream of misinformation isn’t just troubling to Twitter. It could have some other dire unintended consequences as well.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel across the world have used Twitter as a means to convey vital information quickly. However, using Twitter Blue makes it difficult for some users to know who to trust.

The State of Washington’s Emergency Management Division took the proactive step of teaching users how to verify Twitter accounts run by government offices. The Washington EMD tips included looking for official websites linked to the account, checking on the age of the account and seeing what other accounts the account in question follows.

Musk fired half of Twitter’s 7,500 person workforce earlier this month. According to a transcript from a recent meeting with employees, Musk said if the company doesn’t start turning a profit, bankruptcy is not out of the question.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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