Elon Musk announces Twitter ban on impersonation accounts

  • Twitter accounts that impersonate others without indicating that they are parody accounts will be permanently suspended from the platform, Elon Musk announced on Sunday.
  • The move comes after the new Twitter owner teased a plan to grant users verified status on the social media platform for $8 a month through Twitter Blue.
  • Accounts that impersonated Musk or used the name “Elon Musk” or its derivatives were the first to be hit with a temporary restriction or a permanent ban, including those of comedian Kathy Griffin, former NFL player Chris Kluwe and Australian satire website The Chaser.
  • Musk said the policy will be clearly identified as a condition when signing up for Twitter Blue, and any further name change will result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark.

Twitter accounts “engaging in impersonation” without identifying themselves as parody accounts will be permanently banned from the social media platform, Elon Musk announced on Sunday.

The move comes after the new Twitter owner teased a plan to grant users verified status — that highly sought-after blue checkmark — for $8 a month through Twitter Blue, a monthly subscription currently available in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted.

“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning,” he added.

Accounts that impersonated Musk or used the name “Elon Musk” or its derivatives were the first to be hit. As of Sunday night, they were either temporarily restricted or permanently suspended, including those of comedian Kathy Griffin, former NFL player Chris Kluwe and Australian satire website The Chaser.

Musk said the policy will become clearly identified as a condition when signing up for Twitter Blue. Consequently, any name change will result in a temporary loss of the blue checkmark.

Since announcing his plan to take over the social media giant, Musk has stressed his commitment to improving free speech. In another recent tweet, he said he will not ban the Twitter account run by someone who has purportedly been following his plane, “even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

Musk fully acquired Twitter on Oct. 27. Mass layoffs began last week, which observers say could decimate as much as half of Twitter’s staff.

Musk explained in a tweet on Friday that there was “no choice” because the company has been losing more than $4 million a day.

“Everyone exited was offered three months of severance, which is 50% more than legally required,” he added.

 

Featured Image via SXSW

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