Elon Musk tweeted Sunday that Twitter will permanently suspend any account on the social media platform that impersonates another.
The platform’s new owner issued the warning after some celebrities changed their Twitter display names – not their account names – and tweeted as ‘Elon Musk’ in reaction to the billionaire’s decision to offer verified accounts to all comers for $8 month.
‘Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,’ Musk wrote. While Twitter previously issued warnings before suspensions, now that it is rolling out ‘widespread verification, there will be no warning.’
In fact, ‘any name change at all’ would compel the temporary loss of a verified checkmark, the world’s richest man said.
Comedian Kathy Griffin had her account suspended Sunday for switching her screen name to Musk.
Actress Valerie Bertinelli had done the same – posting a series of tweets in support of Democratic candidates on Saturday before switching back to her true name. ‘Okey-dokey. I’ve had fun and I think I made my point,’ she tweeted afterwards.
Before the stunt, Bertinelli noted the original purpose of the blue verification checkmark. It was granted free of charge to people whose identity Twitter employees had confirmed; with journalists accounting for a big portion of recipients.
‘It simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you,’ Bertinelli noted.
‘That no longer applies. Good luck out there!’ she added.
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