It looks like Elon Musk just spent $44 billion to get bullied and usually passes for a jester on the World Wide Web.
from Twitter The main event of the weekend was the continued backlash to Musk’s decision to start charging for verification (aka blue checks) on the site. Musk faced a slew of copycats Saturday and Sunday, prompting the self-proclaimed ‘free speech absolutist’ to seemingly rethink his statement that “comedy is now legal on Twitter”.
Among the famous faces to remake themselves in Musk’s image are Kathy Griffin, Valerie Bertinelli and Sarah Silverman, who all used the same photo and display name as the new Twit leader to make it look like he tweeted the things they tweeted. Pretty funny, right? Meh. It was funny insofar as it’s funny to see Elon Musk get upset, and boy did he get upset.
On Sunday, Musk tweeted: “Going forward, any Twitter handle engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.” Do you hear that? It’s the sound of comedy going back to prison, or at least the Kathy Griffin’s peculiar comedy styles. As of this writing, Bertinelli and Silverman’s accounts are active on the site, but Griffin is still in jail on Twitter with a suspended account. It is not clear if the suspension will be to be in fact permanent. (Musk tweeted this Griffin could get her account back if she bought Twitter Blue for $8 a month, but it’s unclear if he was serious. We are not sure where we are on the whole comedy/joke.)
Griffin, however, logged into the app through her late mother’s account (“She wouldn’t care,” Griffin insured.) to continue training with Musk. Yes, Griffin’s deceased mother’s account also has Musk’s name and photo on it, but doesn’t have a blue check, so some punch is definitely lost.
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The dead mother’s account is a good example of why giving everyone willing to pay $8 a month for a blue check seems like a bad idea. Musk seems to feel like checks are just status symbols, and they certainly work that way — sort of. But their main purpose is to confirm the the identity of someone there would be reasonable cause to impersonate, such as a celebrity or a journalist. It was assumed that if you had the tick, you wouldn’t be the only one Do limitation. With verification for sale, it will be ridiculously easy to impersonate someone quite convincingly, Musk or otherwise.
Working out with self-proclaimed D-list comedians isn’t Musk’s only problem at the moment. On Friday, Musk fired about half of the company’s staff over email; now it’s been reported that the company is already quietly asking some of those (former) employees to come back, apparently realizing that it’s remaking what is perhaps the world’s most influential social media platform in the image of one of the biggest egos in the world would take manpower. As Gizmodo noted in their coverage, the company is already being sued by the terminated employees for violating a California law requiring at least 60 days’ notice for mass termination.
As if that uslease enough, Musk tweeted a cute same Monday depicting a WWII German soldier with carrier pigeons. (That was half an hour before he urged his supporters to vote for a Republican midterm convention on Tuesday.) If this was supposed to be a joke, it’s definitely not funny. Dragging Kathy Griffin is one thing; Nazi-era tweeter images, even inadvertently, is another. Happy booking these advertisers you are talking about.
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