Elon Musk had advocated for free expression before he assumed control of Twitter. However, that dedication is being questioned in light of the suspension of multiple prominent verified accounts, maybe for good, for what appears to be impersonating the wealthiest person in the world.
One of the guidelines Musk is enforcing as Twitter’s new dictator was published yesterday: “Any Twitter handles engaged in impersonation without clearly mentioning ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
Musk explained that while Twitter notifies users before suspending them, this will no longer be the case after implementing mass verification.
The billionaire recently stated that subscribers to the optional Twitter Blue service will now pay $8 per month rather than $20, and their identities will be validated. This has raised concerns about verified users posing as famous persons. According to Musk, this is handled by placing a secondary tag—which is already the case for politicians—below the name of a renowned figure. The new verification mechanism won’t go into effect until after the US midterm elections, it was revealed yesterday.
Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022
Some currently active verified users have been imitating Musk to mock him. Elon Musk became Kathy Griffin’s display name, and she created a profile picture that was identical to the Twitter CEO’s. After a lengthy and vigorous discussion with the women in her life, she tweeted, “After much deliberation, I’ve determined that voting blue for their pick is only appropriate (They’re also attractive girls, btw.).” On Sunday, the comedian was put on hold.
The Australian satirical website The Chaser and actor Rich Sommer, well known for playing Harry Crane on the television show Mad Men, were banned for imitating Musk even though they declared the account as a parody and used the moniker “Elon Musk Fondles Dogs.” According to Kotaku, Ethan Klein and Chipzel have both been suspended or placed under restrictions despite adhering to the parody-label guidelines. Because of her impersonation, Sarah Silverman’s account was momentarily locked.
1) 9 days ago, 2) yesterday 3) today. We have fun pic.twitter.com/eTKAp8PBuK
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) November 7, 2022
Some of the suspensions may be due to another rule Musk published that requires the verified checkmark to disappear following any name change temporarily, but certainly not all of them.
— Elon Musk Fondles Dogs (@chaser) November 7, 2022
Many people have noted the irony of Musk’s October 28 tweet: “Comedy is now legal on Twitter.” Even though the former president claims he doesn’t want to return, he also stated that no one should be subject to lifelong bans and pledged to let Donald Trump return to the platform.
— Parker Higgins (in protest) (@xor) November 6, 2022
Musk is reorganizing Twitter in part by firing 3,700 employees, or almost half of the workforce. The business is currently being sued on allegations that the action was unlawful due to inadequate notice. Musk is familiar with the circumstance because it occurred at Tesla a few months back.
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