December 5, 2022

Twitter bans Kathy Griffin and others as it enforces rules against “impersonation”

The accounts were impersonating new Twitter owner Elon Musk.

Comedian Kathy Griffin and others had their  Twitter   account suspended on Weekend after impersonating Elon Musk on Twitter.

Twitter has had guidelines that prohibit impersonation for a long time, particularly when it comes to verified accounts. And on November 2, new Twitter owner Elon Musk warned that verified accounts that broke these guidelines would still be suspended under his leadership.

After he tweeted out the warning, several high-profile accounts with a verification checkmark, which includes those of comedian Kathy Griffin and Mad Men actor Rich Sommer, changed their profile picture to Musk’s current profile picture, changed their Twitter profile title to “ Elon Musk, ” and sent twitter posts impersonating Musk.

Kathy Griffin’s tweets impersonating Elon Musk.

Wealthy Sommer’s tweet impersonating Elon Musk.

Twitter has suspended each accounts.

Griffin’s now-suspended account had over two million followers while Sommer’s account had more than 33, 000 followers.

After Twitter banned these accounts, Musk messaged that Twitter accounts “ engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘ parody’ is going to be permanently suspended. ”

He added that previously, Twitter was giving warnings before suspending makes up about impersonation but because wide-spread verification is being rolled out, there will no longer be a warning and that this policy is going to be “ clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Tweets Blue. ”

Twitter Blue is Twitter’s subscription service. Musk plans to increase the price to $8 per month and give all balances with a Twitter Blue subscription the verified checkmark.

Musk also mentioned that any name change will cause an account to briefly lose its verified checkmark and that this will be applied to just about all accounts with “ no exceptions. ”

In one more tweet, Musk said using pseudonyms is allowed yet “ the high-level principle is just that verified users can’t engage in malicious deception. ”

Some critics of Musk’s plan to give all Twitter Blue subscribers a verified checkmark possess argued that it would make it easier for fake accounts to impersonate public figures and brands. However , Twitter has had rules against impersonation that were in force years before Musk took control of the business.

Twitter’s “ Misleading and misleading identities policy”   prohibits the “ impersonation of individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others. ” It also bans the use of “ the fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Tweets. ”

Additionally , this policy clarifies that will: “ An account’s identity is deceptive under this particular policy if it uses fake profile information to symbolize itself as a person or entity that is not associated with the account owner, such that it may mislead others who use Tweets. Deceptive identities may feature the likeness of someone else or organization in a manner that confuses others about the account’s association. ”

Musk requirement for parody accounts to clearly specify that they’re parody accounts also reflects Twitter’s existing rules that were in force years before he took over.   Twitter’s “ Parody, commentary, and fan account policy”   states that “ parody, commentary, and fan balances must distinguish themselves in BOTH their account name plus bio. ”

Before making these recent remarks about Twitter permanently banning accounts that engage in impersonation without identifying themselves because parody, Musk had  suggested that he would be “ very cautious with permanent bans”   plus expressed a preference with regard to timeouts.

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