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Trolls Prompt Twitter To Pause Blue Checkmark Subscription Plan A Day After It Launched

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SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — The apparent chaos at Twitter continued on Friday after Twitter’s controversial blue checkmark subscription program disappeared just a day after launch.

On Friday morning, the option to enroll in Twitter Blue, which gives users the coveted blue checkmark that used to indicate a confirmed identity in exchange for a $7.99 monthly subscription fee, disappeared from Twitter’s iOS app just a day after it was introduced.

During that short window, multiple users on the social media platform demonstrated apparent flaws in the program by posing as famous people and businesses with a blue checkmark next to their name.

As noted by CBS, those users behind accounts claiming to be former U.S. President George W. Bush and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair traded tweets stating they missed killing Iraqis.

Another verified Twitter account posing as the pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly complete with the company’s logo and a blue checkmark, caused a stir when it announced that the life-saving drug insulin was now free.

A second account with the Eli Lilly corporate logo and its own blue checkmark quickly responded, tweeting: “We apologize to those who have been served a misleading message from a fake Lily account about the cost of diabetic care. Humalog is now $400. We can do this whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it. Suck it.”

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment but the Washington Post reported that it obtained a communication sent to Twitter staff that said the blue checkmark program had been paused while the company worked to “address impersonation issues.”

The fumbled roll-out of the blue check subscription plan comes amid new key staff defections from the social media platforms. According to the Washington Post, the departures include Yoel Roth, Twitter’s Senior Director of Safety & Integrity, and Lea Kissner, Chief Information Security Officer.

The exit of multiple key staff members tasked with overseeing Twitter’s privacy policies prompted a rare caution from the Federal Trade Commission, who expressed concern about the upheaval at the social media giant. Twitter has operated under a consent decree since 2011 that was renewed earlier this year over past abuses of privacy and if the FTC determines that Twitter is operating outside of the bounds of the consent decree, they may face significant fines even as advertisers flee the platform.

In a communication to employees on Thursday, Twitter’s new boss, Elon Musk, said the company would adhere to both “the letter and spirit of the FTC consent decree.”

“Anything you read to the contrary is absolutely false,” Musk wrote in the email obtained by the Washington Post “The same goes for any other government regulatory matters where Twitter operates.”

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