Elon Musk rolls out new Twitter suspension policy after users ridicule him online
The Twitter owner didn't like the jokes, so suspended the people making them
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Twitter suspensions
🤨 Elon Musk has introduced a new suspension policy after users started ridiculing him online
👉 Celebrities renamed their accounts to “Elon Musk” to point out the holes in Twitter’s new verification system
📜 A new platform-wide parody policy has been implemented in response
🤣 But that hasn’t stopped people from ridiculing the Twitter boss
Elon Musk has announced a new Twitter suspension policy after comedians began mocking the billionaire online by impersonating his account, but that hasn’t stopped Twitter users from piling on the ridicule.
“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.”
Prior to the announcement, several verified users had changed their display name to “Elon Musk” before mocking the Twitter owner and his decision to offer account verification to anyone willing to cough up $8 a month.
They highlighted that the new Twitter Blue system opens up the platforms’ authentication system to abuse, allowing any Twitter user to pose as someone they’re not.
Comedians Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman were among those who had their accounts suspended as a result, as did the satirical Australian website The Chaser. Silverman, The Chaser, and other accounts hit by the ban are now back up, although Griffin’s account remains down.
Before purchasing the platform, Musk had loudly criticized Twitter’s content moderation policy. He set himself up as the one who would return libertarian values to the platform, although promised he wouldn’t reinstate the accounts of Donald Trump and other banned users before the US midterm elections had passed.
But these bans and suspensions contradict Musk’s self-styled position as a free speech absolutist. While in a tweet from last week, Musk proclaimed that “comedy is now legal on Twitter”, it looks like comedy will only be tolerated so long as it isn’t made at Musk’s expense.
The new policy hasn’t stopped Twitter users poking fun at Musk. Singer-songwriter Richard Marx put out a tweet mocking the new announcement, as have other Twitter accounts. They laboriously specify they’re acting as parody accounts to evade the platform’s new moderation rules.
The consequences of Musk’s change to Twitter’s verification system haven’t surprised many. The blue tick was originally used as a mark of authenticity, granted free to any notable users whose identity could reasonably be impersonated, preventing scammers and other unscrupulous users from posing at them.
It’s one of several major platform changes Musk has floated since taking over the platform. Last week, he suggested paywalled videos could come to Twitter, offering the company another revenue stream, and has even signaled his interest in reviving the video-sharing app Vine.
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