Some well-known brands began to post some very out-of-character tweets this week following the rollout of the new Twitter Blue, which gives anyone who pays $8 a month a verified checkmark.
Or at least, it looked like well-known brands were posting out-of-character tweets. The new rules granting paying Twitter accounts checkmarks have left many people confused about which accounts are real, and which accounts are not.
That includes a viral tweet that appeared to be from drug manufacturer Eli Lilly. The tweet read: “We are excited to announce insulin is free now.” Given the high costs of monthly insulin prescriptions, people were eager to find out if this tweet was real.
Is drug manufacturer Eli Lilly making insulin free?
No, drug manufacturer Eli Lilly is not making insulin free.
WHAT WE FOUND
The tweet that said insulin would be free was posted by an account impersonating Eli Lilly. The official Eli Lilly account apologized for the “misleading message from a fake Lilly account.”
There are a few indicators that distinguish the real account from the fake account.
At the bottom of Eli Lilly’s official website, there is a set of icons linking to the company’s various social media accounts. The Twitter icon takes people to the @LillyPad account, the real account that apologized for the misleading fake tweet.
When you click on the checkmark on @LillyPad’s profile, it explains the account is verified because “it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” This is different from what it says when you click on a Twitter Blue checkmark, which tells people the account is verified because “it’s subscribed to Twitter Blue.”
Just because an account has a Twitter Blue checkmark does not mean it has been verified by Twitter to be an authentic account. “Accounts that receive the blue checkmark as part of a Twitter Blue subscription will not undergo review to confirm that they meet the active, notable and authentic criteria that was used in the previous process,” a Twitter help center page says.
The new Twitter Blue program implemented by Elon Musk, who recently purchased Twitter to become the social media network’s sole owner, has currently paused distributing checkmarks to new accounts after a wave of accounts abused the subscription to impersonate various brands.
“Twitter accounts created on or after November 9, 2022 will be unable to subscribe to Twitter Blue at this time,” Twitter now says on its help center page for Twitter Blue.
The fake account that posted the tweet about free insulin, @EliLillyandCo, no longer has an icon or a checkmark, and its tweets are now protected so no one can see them.
Eli Lilly has made no indication that it plans to make insulin free now or in the near future. The official company account’s pinned tweet is still a post from March promoting its insulin affordability solutions, which offers a $35 co-pay to qualified patients.
The website for Eli Lilly’s insulin affordability program also remains up. One of its promoted programs includes an automatic discount that brings the monthly prescription price down to $95 for people with commercial insurance plans.