Elon Musk under fire after chaotic launch of ‘Blue Twitter’ certificate – Liberation

After opening up all Twitter profiles without verification to paid authentication, the platform saw the number of fake accounts explode and companies fall in the stock market. Amid political attacks, warnings and lawsuits, pressure is mounting on the American billionaire.

For the 30 million Americans with diabetes, the news could be good. “We are pleased to announce that insulin is now free”, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly won on Twitter on Friday. For patients using the product in the country, it sometimes costs more than $1,000 per month. But the hopes raised by the tweet were quickly dashed: nothing was real. Despite its name, picture and, above all, its certification, the Eli Lilly account was fake at the beginning of the message, which, as a rule, received thousands of likes. And real business is now paying for farce. In this case, $16 billion in market capitalization was lost.

At the root of this decline in the stock market? The change in certification policy was made by Elon Musk on Twitter. Politicians, journalists, companies… Before Tesla’s boss came hacking to the head of the network, this little blue badge was given to “prominent” users… whose identity had to be verified. The billionaire and his “Twitter Blue” offer skips verification: to get a certificate, it’s enough to pay $7.99 a month. The offer, which is the first big step of the entrepreneur as the new boss, was implemented on November 9. And it stopped after three days. A bitter cry for Elon Musk, who intensified the criticism and attacks.

Pepsi appreciates the advantages of Coca-Cola

Disaster was expected. As reported New York Times, the new Twitter Blue offering had to be built in record time under pressure from staff. As the moderation workforce dwindled following the billionaire’s massive layoff, fake accounts proliferated unhindered. Still, in a market where digital buzzwords have made and broken fortunes, some companies have seen cash flow eroded. Like Eli Lilly, U.S. defense equipment maker Lockheed Martin lost nearly $15 billion after announcing plans to suspend the fake blue-label account. “Arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States pending further investigation into human rights abuses”.

Other groups have been subjected to unpleasant jokes. Video game design company Nintendo Like: An Evil Double franchise star posted a photo of Mario with a fully gloved middle finger. A fake Pepsi account started touting the services of rival Coca-Cola. And in this digital capacity, some activists found what they were looking for. “Just because we killed the planet doesn’t mean we won’t miss it?”, an account ironically mimicking that of the oil company British Petroleum. Of course, personalities like Donald Trump, George Bush or Tony Blair could not avoid being crushed. It’s not enough to convince advertisers who have already cooled down from Elon Musk’s arrival at the helm.

On the other hand, what annoys the political class. U.S. Senator Edward Markey in an oral contest threaten the boss : “Fix your businesses. Otherwise, Congress will do it.” The warning comes after the journalist Washington post managed to impersonate the Democrat on the platform – with his consent. “Warranties like Twitter’s blue tick once empowered users to be smart, critical consumers”he reminds the billionaire, who is not a fan of criticism, that he packed it: “Maybe it’s because your real account looks like a parody? Jean-Noel Barrot, Ministerial Representative for Digital Transition on the European side, Clap your fist on Monday too : “It has been shown that a social network publisher cannot rely solely on an eight-euro fee to avoid the duty to regulate illegal content.”he condemns at his own expense.

The US is more conciliatory than Europe

These political pressures add to the already long list of complaints that Elon Musk is the subject of. Since taking over Twitter, Tesla’s boss has been the target of a class-action lawsuit by former employees of the chain who were fired without enough notice. Last week, the US competition watchdog Federal Trade Commission warned against it after the departures (voluntarily, this time) of some executives, including data privacy chief Damien Kieran, security chief Leah Kissner and Yoel Roth. , former Head of Trust and Security. “We are following the recent events on Twitter with great concern. No CEO or company is above the law.”– says the agency.

Could Eli Lilly and Lockheed Martin sue Musk in turn after financial losses? contacted with Let it gothe first shows “at this stage” can’t “inform about steps to be taken”. However, even if a complaint is filed, it is clearly of no avail. Unlike Europe, which has made platforms more responsible for their content through the Digital Services Act, the United States is more conciliatory. Issue: Article 230 of the Communication Etiquette Law. This law, written in 1996, guarantees the inviolability of the websites and social networks it considers to be the text. “IT service providers” and not data publishers. In other words: even if Elon Musk’s strategy led to the creation of fake accounts, the billionaire is not responsible for their publication. Very comfortable position.

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