Elon Musk has warned Twitter users who impersonate other handles, without calling it a parody, that their accounts will be permanently suspended without warning after a number of prominent accounts, including that of comedian Kathy Griffin, were kicked out of Twitter for pretending to be the billionaire and posting tweets mocking him.
Musk issued the warning after some celebrities changed their Twitter display names rather than account names, tweeting as “Elon Musk” in response to the billionaire’s decision to offer verified accounts for $8 a month to all new arrivals, while laying off a large portion of the workforce.
Musk tweeted, “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended.” In fact, “any name change at all would compel the temporary loss of a verified checkmark,” Musk added.
Griffin was permanently suspended from Twitter on Sunday night after she changed her name and image to match Musk’s and tweeted about the midterm elections. Griffin, like Musk, tweeted: “After much spirited discussion with the females in my life, I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right (They’re also sexy females, btw.) #VoteBlueToProtectWomen.”
Musk then tweeted afterwards that, “Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian. But if she really wants her account back, she can have it. For $8.”
Others suspended for impersonation include Mad Men star Rich Sommer, who was permanently suspended for taking Musk’s username and profile photo; YouTuber Ethan Klein, who impersonated Musk after testing the new policy, Sci-fi author and former professional football player Chris Kluwe, who impersonated Musk; and a verified user with the handle @arb and over 50,000 followers, who impersonated Musk and tweeted a series of mocking posts, including “my wife left me.”
The sources for this piece include an article in NPR.