Twitter has suspended comedian Kathy Griffin for impersonating the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.
Griffin appeared to be the first celebrity to lose his tweeting privileges after a wave of prominent users impersonated Musk over the weekend in a bid to point out potential flaws in the company’s plans to social media for a revised verification system.
Musk has made an $8 Twitter subscription plan his signature bid to boost company revenue. The new plan was hastily rolled out over the weekend before the company finally decided to delay service past the midterms.
The updated Twitter Blue subscription plan gives paying users the option to get a blue checkmark on their profiles, an option previously available exclusively to verified celebrities, politicians, journalists and other public figures. Musk offered the new feature as a way to combat spam on the platform.
But the partially rolled out plan faced widespread backlash and, in a show of defiance, some celebrities on the platform posed as Musk over the weekend, with a blue check mark on their profiles.
Comedian Sarah Silverman used her verified account to troll Musk, copying his profile picture, cover and name. The only thing that distinguished a tweet from Silverman’s account was the @SarahKSilverman manipulate.
“I’m a free speech absolutist and I eat doody for breakfast every day,” Silverman tweeted Saturday. His account also retweeted posts supporting Democratic candidates.
Silverman’s account was labeled as “temporarily restricted” on Sunday, with a warning that “there has been unusual activity from this account” shown to visitors before clicking on the profile. The actress then restored her account to its usual form, with her own name and her own image.
After changing his profile name to Musk, Bertinelli tweeted and retweeted his support for several Democratic candidates and hashtags, including “VoteBlueForDemocracy” and “#VoteBlueIn2022.”
The actress changed her account name to Valérie Bertinelli on Sunday, Tweeter“[o]key-dokey I had a good time and I think I made my point.
On Sunday, musk tweeted that, “Going forward, any Twitter handle engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.” He also has tweeted that a name change on Twitter “will result in the temporary loss of the verified checkmark”.
Additionally, Musk said Twitter users will no longer receive a warning before being suspended. “This will be clearly identified as a requirement for signing up for Twitter Blue,” he said. tweeted.
Griffin’s account remained suspended Monday morning, and it was unclear how long it would remain in effect. Musk mocked Griffin Sunday, joking that “she was suspended for pretending to be a comedian”. Musk also tweeted that Griffin could recover his account paying $8 a month for Twitter Blue, though it wasn’t clear if Musk was serious.
CNN fired Griffin in 2017 after the comedian was photographed holding a bloody head resembling that of then-President Donald Trump. Griffin had co-hosted the New Year’s program alongside Anderson Cooper for a decade.
The account crackdown comes after Musk bought the company and pledged to restore the accounts of users who were previously banned from the platform, including Trump. Musk also said he would limit the company’s content restrictions and require the paid subscription for account verification.
In recent months, Musk has shared conspiracy theories about the attack on Paul Pelosi, called The Democrats, the party of “division and hatred”, compared The former CEO of Twitter to Joseph Stalin and warned that “the awakened mind virus will destroy civilization”.
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