Twitter vs Eli Lilly: Shares of LLY Haven’t Fully Recovered From Insulin Tweet

Shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) have recovered some, but not all of the damage incurred after an imposter account published a tweet saying "We are excited to announce insulin is free now." As a result of this impersonation and others, Twitter has (at least temporarily) halted the $8 Twitter verification system.

Justin Nugent

This article was last updated on 11/22/2022.

Twitter versus Eli Lilly: Stock in LLY Hasn’t Fully Recovered From Insulin Tweet

Which Twitter username sounds more “official” for Eli Lilly? 

  • @Lillypad
  • @EliLillyAndCo

_

On Thursday, November 10th, the verified account @EliLillyAndCo posted this tweet: 

The problem? This was an imposter, and the news was fake: Eli Lilly did not make insulin free. But the damage was already done. The pharmaceutical kingpin tried to get ahead of the message, tweeting on Thursday:

But it was too late. The following day, shares of Eli Lilly (LLY) plunged, wiping out 4.5% from the stock’s value in a single day — despite the fact that the rest of the market was trading largely in the green. 

Today, with news largely circulated that Eli Lilly was the target of an impersonation and that nothing has materially changed within the company or its business model, shares have only recovered +$6.70 of Friday’s -$16.03 loss. 

Source: Google

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So what gives? Why is Eli Lilly Stock (LLY) still down?

The impersonation has reignited a preexisting debate about whether insulin, a medication that was originally intended to be free, should be charged for at all. 

Source: Google

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The Aftermath: Twitter Pauses $8 Verification

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Elon Musk has been shaking things up during his first month at Twitter. Musk’s most controversial decision: $8 per month blue check verification. 

Aside from the obvious reason (to generate more revenue for Twitter), Elon has said that the original Twitter verification system was a “lords and peasants system,” while others, like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, have criticized the change: 

For Elon Musk, the argument that Twitter is charging money for free speech is a moot point — “The company needs to make money.” However, the issue of impersonation is one that Musk has made it clear he cares deeply about:

“Basically, tricking people is not okay.” – Elon Musk. Source: Twitter.com/@elonmusk

The above rule was part of what led to comedian Kathy Lee getting banned from the social media platform. However, as evidenced by the Eli Lilly fiasco, Kathy Lee’s banning was not enough to repel potential trolls and impersonators from making materially false (and highly impactful) statements. 

Another impersonation, “@LockheedMartini” Source: Twitter

As a result, CNBC reported that as of November 11th, Friday morning, Twitter had at least temporarily paused the ability to purchase $8 verification badges — likely in an effort to address the Twitter verification system’s glaring flaws.

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