Twitter has passed a series of suspensions on some verified accounts after the people behind them, including comedian Kathy Griffin, impersonated new Twitter boss Elon Musk on the social media app, according to Teslarati.
In a later post, Musk stated that any Twitter users engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” would be suspended without warning permanently.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended.” tweeted Musk.
“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,”
The Tesla CEO added, “Any name change will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark.”
Before his updates, Musk became the target of some verified accounts that replaced their account names and profile photos to match the ‘Chief Twit.’
Accounts banned for impersonation
For example, Kathy Griffin tweeted under Musk’s name promoting Democrat candidates for the upcoming elections.
According to NPR, Twitter did not respond for comment to an email on Griffin’s suspension and verified accounts issue.
Similarly, Ethan Klein of YouTube’s H3 Podcast channel tweeted about Musk’s alleged friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein and his partner Ghislaine Maxwell. While Klein indicated his “parody” intentions on his profile’s banner, he did not put it on his name.
The actor known for his role as Harry Crane on AMC’s Mad Men, Rich Sommer, also got his account suspended after he changed his name and profile picture to impersonate Musk, as per CNBC.
And while Musk’s decision to suspend verified accounts who impersonated him resulted in uproar against the Tesla CEO, it must be noted that Twitter’s rules regarding parody accounts were set long before Musk’s acquisition.
Twitter said it would take any three actions in response to impersonators, including “profile moderation,” or “temporary/permanent suspension.”
Twitter Help Center
As shown in Twitter’s Help Center, users can operate a parody account freely, providing that such accounts note that they are a parody in their account name and bio. However, this was not clearly followed by the verified users suspended after impersonating Elon Musk.
“The account name should clearly indicate that the account is not affiliated with the subject portrayed in the profile. Accounts can indicate this by incorporating words such as, but not limited to, ‘parody,’ ‘fake,’ ‘fan,’ or ‘commentary.’ This language should be stated in a way that can be understood by the intended audience.”
“The bio should clearly state that the account is not affiliated with the subject portrayed in the profile. Non-affiliation can be indicated by incorporating words such as, but not limited to, ‘parody,’ ‘fake,’ ‘fan,’ or ‘commentary.’ This language should be stated in a way that can be understood by the intended audience,” Twitter’s rules read.”
Elon Musk wrote, “Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission.”