Twitter’s relaunched premium service, which gives blue-checked “verification” labels to anyone who pays $8 a month, wasn’t working on Friday because the social media site was flooded with fake accounts that Twitter had already approved.

Before Elon Musk, a billionaire took over the social media platform two weeks ago, the blue check was given to celebrities, journalists, and other people who had been verified by the platform. This was done to stop people from pretending to be someone else. Now, anyone with a phone, a credit card, and $8 a month can get one.

After a fake Twitter account set up with the new Twitter Blue system tweeted that insulin was free, Eli Lilly & Co. had to post an apology. There were also fake accounts for Nintendo, Lockheed Martin, Musk’s own Tesla and SpaceX, and a number of professional sports stars.




For advertisers who have put their business on hold on Twitter, fake accounts could be the last straw. Musk’s rough time at the top of the platform, during which he fired half the staff and caused high-profile people to leave, raises questions about how long it will last.

Now, there are two kinds of “blue checks,” and they both look the same. One is the account that was checked out before Musk took over. It notes that “This account is verified because it’s notable in government, news, entertainment, or another designated category.” The other person says that the account is signed up for Twitter Blue.

No one answered an email sent to Twitter’s press address. During the layoffs, the company’s communications department lost most of its staff.

Musk tweeted on Thursday, “too many corrupt legacy Blue ‘verification’ checkmarks exist, so no choice but to remove legacy Blue in coming months.”

The online version of Twitter didn’t have Twitter Blue, and it said that users could only sign up on the iPhone version. However, Twitter Blue was not available on the iPhone version.

Twitter also started putting gray “official” labels on some popular accounts once more. It put out the labels earlier this week, but a few hours later, it killed them.

At least according to some accounts, they came back Thursday night, including Twitter and big companies like Amazon, Nike, and Coca-Cola. However, many of them went away again soon after.

Also, it didn’t look like celebrities were getting the “official” label.