To contain confusion over verification, Twitter Friday temporarily halted its new $8 blue tick subscription offering. This is only the latest reversal at the social media platform since billionaire Elon Musk bought the company.
The move came as a number of accounts impersonating big brands received the blue tick, previously a signal that the firm had verified the user as real.
In one instance, a user claiming to be drugs firm Eli Lilly said “insulin was free”.
Experts say, the incident added to the concerns about how Mr Musk’s leadership was affecting the spread of misinformation on the platform.
“We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lilly account,” Eli Lilly tweeted a few hours after the prank post went up on Thursday, reiterating the name of its real Twitter handle.
Mr Musk completed his $44bn purchase of Twitter late October and has moved quickly to overhaul the company.
He has fired roughly 3,700 people – about half of the company’s former staff – and pushed the firm to focus on finding ways other than advertising to make money.
“Without significant subscription revenue, there is a good chance Twitter will not survive the upcoming economic downturn,” he said.