Eli Lilly lost billions after fake Twitter account promotes free insulin

On Nov. 10, a verified Twitter account posed as Eli Lilly wrote in a viral tweet, "We are excited to announce insulin is free now." By the next day, the drugmaker's shares plunged by about $22 billion. 

The fake account, which has since been taken down, had a verified blue check and a copy of the Indianapolis-based company's logo as its profile picture. Eli Lilly responded within two hours, but the tweet that stayed on the app for less than a day accumulated thousands of retweets. 

"We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account," the pharmaceutical company wrote. "Our official Twitter account is @LillyPad."

Eli Lilly has halted all its Twitter ads, according to The Washington Post; it is one of the latest companies to do so after Elon Musk took the reins of the social media platform in late October. Many have questioned Twitter's content moderation capabilities after Mr. Musk laid off more than 50 percent of its workforce, including multiple content moderation roles. 

In an effort to revive the app's profits, Mr. Musk implemented an $8 subscription fee for profiles to receive a blue checkmark without going through an identity check. Twitter has a gray "Official" tag on accounts that have previously gone through the verification process, and Mr. Musk tweeted Nov. 11 that parody accounts will soon have a "a 'Parody' subscript to clarify" their intent. 

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