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6 December, 2022

Friends don’t let friends advertise on Twitter

icon advertising,impersonators,twitter
Friends don't let friends advertise on Twitter
Image credit MadMen

"A fake tweet sparked panic at Eli Lilly and may have cost Twitter millions" - Washington Post

How has Twitter become such a toxic platform for advertisers? How can hackers impersonate corporations to send out fake tweets? Should advertisers advertise on Twitter with few content controls, when it is so easy for hackers to harm their brands with impersonated tweets?

“We are excited to announce insulin is free now,” said the tweet sent from an impersonated account using the name and logo of the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. The tweet carried a blue “verified” check mark, a badge that Twitter had used for years to signal an account’s authenticity that had suddenly opened to anyone, regardless of their identity, as long as they paid $8.

Inside the real Eli Lilly, the fake sparked a panic... Company officials scrambled to contact Twitter representatives and demanded they kill the viral spoof, worried it could undermine their brand’s reputation or push false claims about people’s medicine. Twitter, its staffing cut in half, didn’t react for hours." - Washington Post

Fake Eli Lilly tweet from impersonator
Source: Rafael Shimunov and Eric Feigi-Ding

Damage control

Fake Eli Lilly Twitter Account Claims Insulin Is Free, Stock Falls 4.37%. It turns that @EliLillyandCo was actually a fake Eli Lilly account. The real Eli Lilly and Company Twitter account, @LillyPad, tried to clear the air later that day because the pharmaceutical company wasn’t about to give away its product for free. - Forbes

Fake tweets from impersonators can do serious damage

Fake tweets can damage a brand and drive down the share price. Rafael Shimunov collects and features such Twitter Blue tweets in his newsletter.

Twitter, fresh under Musk, changed its blue check mark policy via a subscription service called Twitter Blue. Before you had to, you know, actually provide proof that you are legitimately who you claim to be to get a blue check mark next to your name. The new Twitter blue service instead allowed you or any other person or bot to get a blue check simply if you were willing to pay $8 a month. So, if you wanted to claim that you were a Professor of Hot Dogs, PhD, you could along with a blue Twitter check mark to support your claim, as long as you could dish out $8 a month. Same would apply if someone wanted to claim they were you and claim they were blue. Talk about putting up legitimacy for sale.

"You could say that Musk “blue” it by putting Twitter’s blue verification check mark up for sale. Charging $8 a month for a blue check mark probably is not going make much of dent into Twitter’s debt. At the same time, it was sort of a bleep you to everyone who has proven that they were legitimate owners of their Twitter accounts over the years. It opened the doors for even more misinformation and disinformation on Twitter as well." - Forbes

The danger of tweets from impersonators

The danger of tweets from impersonators
Source: Rafael Shimunov

Advertisers exodus from Twitter

"Marketers are reevaluating Twitter during a moment of chaos as Musk makes dramatic changes to both the staff and the platform. The billionaire slashed roughly half the workforce and then issued an ultimatum that spurred hundreds of other employees to quit, including many involved in making sure the site was free from content that advertisers would prefer to not be associated with.

Dozens of top Twitter advertisers, including 14 of the top 50, have stopped advertising in the few weeks since Musk’s chaotic acquisition of the social media company... Twitter is still heavily reliant on advertising. Last year, nearly 90 percent of the company’s $5 billion in revenue came from advertising, while the rest was derived from data licensing and other services, according to regulatory filings.

Don Draper is the series' main protagonist in the hit TV series, Mad Men set at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency.

What would Don Draper say about advertising on Twitter?

Don Draper is the series' main protagonist in the hit TV series, Mad Men set at the fictional Sterling Cooper advertising agency. He is the creative director and junior partner and a hard-drinking, chain-smoking executive with a shadowy past who has achieved success in advertising. Here is some his advice from:

People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.

It wasn’t a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover.

Take Away: Friends do not let friends advertise on Twitter!

Deepak
DemLabs

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