The incident appeared to have real-world consequences: Eli Lilly stock fell 2.2% in morning trades.
Twitter has tried to get a grip on the impersonation problem by implementing an “Official” verification status, which adds a gray checkmark to important profiles. Essentially, it mirrors the blue check system that existed before. Hours after the “Official” badges were rolled out on Wednesday, Musk unexpectedly announced that he “just killed it.” But by this morning, the “Official” status was back on prominent profiles, including Coca-Cola’s, according to Mashable. And then — plot twist! — they were gone again by the afternoon.
Fake accounts are not Musk’s only problem. Thursday morning, an unnamed lawyer at the company announced his resignation and warned in a companywide Slack post that Musk’s behavior could result in billions of dollars of fines from regulators, according to a report from the Verge.
The lawyer wrote that he had heard the head of legal at Twitter — Musk’s personal lawyer, Alex Spiro — say, “Elon puts rockets into space, he’s not afraid of the FTC.” The Federal Trade Commission fined Twitter $150 million earlier this year for using customer security data for targeted advertising.
An FTC spokesperson told the Hill that the commission is watching the situation at Twitter with “deep concern” and that it will ensure the company keeps to its agreement with the agency to protect user privacy. “No CEO or company is above the law,” the spokesperson said.
Musk, meanwhile, appeared to revel in all the negative media coverage. “The awesome irony of the situation,” he wrote earlier today in a since-deleted tweet, “is that the media writing about Twitter/me failing nonstop is driving massive growth in Twitter!”