Image source: OK Magazine
Twitter is under new ownership, and while Elon Musk has promised free speech, there have already been numerous account suspensions.
Comedian Kathy Griffin is among those whose account received a suspension for impersonating the new owner of the popular social media platform.
Kathy Griffin became the first celebrity to get suspended after a wave of users started impersonating Musk last weekend.
The impersonation highlights flaws in Twitter’s plans for a new verification system.
Read also: Elon Musk will lay off Twitter employees later today
Elon Musk used the $8 subscription as leverage to increase the company’s revenue while avoiding dependence on advertising.
The new plan’s launch came last weekend before the company decided to postpone the service until after the midterm elections.
The new Twitter Blue subscription gives paying users a blue checkmark on their profile to prove their legitimacy.
Previously, the option was exclusive to celebrities, politicians, journalists and other public figures.
Additionally, Elon Musk tipped the new feature as a solution to combat spam bots and fake accounts on the platform.
However, the plan was not as warmly received as he expected.
Celebrities and comedians
Over the weekend, several celebrities on Twitter impersonated Musk to defy his Twitter Blue plan.
Joining them is comedian Sarah Silverman, who copied Musk’s profile picture, cover photo, and name before tweeting:
“I am a freedom of speech absolutist and I eat doody for breakfast every day.”
Silverman also retweeted posts in support of Democratic candidates.
On Sunday, however, her account had a label saying it was “temporarily restricted,” saying there was unusual activity on her account.
Eventually, the comedian restored her account to her real name and photo.
Celebrity Valerie Bertinelli also changed her Twitter name to Elon Musk, tweeting:
“[t]he blue checkmark simply meant your identify was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applied. Good luck out there!”
Bertinelli later reverted to her original account name and pictures, saying, “[o]key-dokey I’ve had my fun and I think I made my point.”
Read also: Twitter thinking about charging for verification
Speaking of impersonations on Sunday, Elon Musk addressed the situation on Twitter, saying::
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
Elon Musk also noted that Twitter users will not receive notification before their account suspension.
“This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” he explained.
As of Monday morning, Kathy Griffin’s account remains suspended.
It is unclear how long the suspension will remain in effect.
The night before, Musk was mocking Griffin, saying the comedian received her suspension for impersonating a comedian.
He said she could get her account back online if she paid $8 for Twitter Blue.
However, it’s unclear if Musk was serious about his tweet.
Kathy Griffin suspended from Twitter for impersonating Elon Musk