Updated Nov 6, 2022 - Technology

Twitter to permanently ban impersonators, Musk says

Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of Fashion" at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 02, 2022 in New York City.

Elon Musk at the 2022 Met Gala in New York City. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Elon Musk announced Sunday "Twitter accounts engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying 'parody' will be permanently suspended without warning," going forward.

Why it matters: Musk said before he took over Twitter he'd "reverse the permanent ban" on former President Trump, arguing that permanent suspensions on the microblogging site "should be extremely rare."

  • Musk has been a staunch advocate for free speech on Twitter and tweeted after the takeover, "Comedy is now legal on Twitter."

The big picture: Several Twitter users have changed their profile names to "Elon Musk" to parody the world's richest person since he completed the $44 billion acquisition of the company last month.

Details: "Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning," Musk tweeted. "This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue."

The bottom line: "Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark," Musk added.

Worth noting: Comedian Kathy Griffin's account was suspended for violating Twitter's rules before Musk's announcement. She had changed her profile name to "Elon Musk."

  • Musk joked in a Sunday night tweet that Griffin was "suspended for impersonating a comedian."
  • "But if she really wants her account back, she can have it" for $8, added Musk, in reference to Twitter's new subscription service that comes with a blue checkmark next to users' names.

Go deeper: Musk is managing Twitter Trump-style

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more comment from Twitter owner Elon Musk and further context.

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