While Elon Musk will be remembered as the first innovator and entrepreneur to successfully return a spacecraft carrier to Earth, his idea has largely ‘crashed the shares of several large conglomerates’.
Musk has launched a premium $8 profile verification service with the goal of eliminating bots, spam, and fake Twitter profiles. While his actions were well-intentioned, they clearly appear to be not well-thought-out, as they resulted in an avalanche of fake news and spam.
Following the much vaunted launch, in just a few hours, a tweet from a fake account but verified account appearing to be from Lockheed Martin said, “We will suspend all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States until further investigation into their human rights records is completed.” This was tweeted by a ‘fake Lockheed Martin’s Twitter profile,’ with the twitter handle @LockheedMartini (an ‘i’ was added to the end of the original company name). The tweet nearly cost the US defense giant a few billion rupees.
Following the tweet, the company’s shares fell by 5.5% immediately, reducing the its market capitalization by $7 billion.
Its to be noted, that there is no conclusive evidence that this tweet caused the company’s massive losses.
It remains to be seen how effective is Musk’s strategy to fight fake news and spammers.