Trump-hating actress and supposed comedian Kathy Griffin was, on Sunday, permanently banned from Twitter.
The ban came after she made her profile picture one of Elon and her username “Elon Musk” and then started tweeting while impersonating Musk.
She f'd around and found out. pic.twitter.com/SWacgH1lpL
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 7, 2022
Elon commented on the company’s stance on impersonation now that verification will soon be available to anyone with $8 a month to spend on a blue checkmark, saying that because the verification opportunity meant people could get the blue check, the need to prevent impersonation meant those that attempted it would receive a permanent suspension. In his words
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended. Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning.”
Continuing, Musk added that that policy change would be applied to verified accounts (accounts with the blue check) and that other changes will be made to help Twitter “become by far the most accurate source of information,” which he said is Twitter’s new mission. In his words:
“This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue. Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark.”
“Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission.”
Musk also added that he remains committed to free speech despite this policy change, saying:
“My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”
But Elon didn’t stick to being strictly serious when discussing the matter. He also dropped a joke far funnier than anything Griffin, allegedly a comedian, has tweeted, responding to a tweet about her being suspended for impersonating Elon Musk by saying “Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian”.
Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 7, 2022
Elon also added that she could potentially get her account back if she pays the $8 and gets reverified.
Regardless of Elon’s savage comment about her impersonating a comedian and thoughts on preventing impersonation now that verification will soon be more widely available, Kathy Griffin would have been in trouble anyway because Twitter’s rules already provide that her impersonation attempt was verboten. That’s because company’s “Misleading and deceptive identities policy” provides that:
You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter.
We want Twitter to be a place where people can find authentic voices. That means one should be able to trust that the person or organization featured in an account’s profile genuinely represents the account owner. While you are not required to display your real name or image on your profile, your account should not engage in impersonation or pose as someone who doesn’t exist in order to deceive others. Accounts that use deceptive identities can create confusion, as well as undermine the integrity of conversations on Twitter. For this reason, you may not misappropriate the identity of another person, group, or organization, or create a fake identity for deceptive purposes.
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