BOSTON (AP) — Elon Musk tweeted Sunday that Twitter will permanently suspend any account on the social media platform that impersonates another.
Some celebrities changed their Twitter display names – not their account names – and tweeted as ‘Elon Musk’ in response to the billionaire’s decision to offer verified accounts to all comers for $8 a month after the platform’s new owner issued a warning. A large part of the workforce.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended,” Musk wrote. While Twitter issued warnings before the suspension, now it’s rolling out “extensive verification, there will be no warnings.”
In fact, “any name change” would force the temporary loss of a certified checkmark, the world’s richest man said.
Comedian Kathy Griffin His account was suspended on Sunday after he changed his screen name to Musk. She told a Bloomberg reporter that she also used her profile photo.
“I guess all the content isn’t going to moderators? Lol,” Griffin joked later, on Mastodon, the alternative social media platform where he set up an account last week.
Actor Valerie Bertinelli similarly appropriated Musk’s screen name – posting a series of tweets in support of the Democratic candidate on Saturday before reverting to his real name. “Ok-dokey. I had fun and I think I made my point,” he later tweeted.
Before the stunt, Bertinelli noted the original purpose of the blue verification checkmark. It was provided free of charge to individuals whose identities were verified by Twitter staff; Journalists account for the bulk of recipients. “This means your identity has been verified. Scammers will have a harder time impersonating you,” Bertinelli noted.
“It no longer applies. Good luck there!” she added.
$8 verified accounts are Musk’s way of democratizing the service, he claims. On Saturday, a Twitter update for iOS devices listed in Apple’s App Store said that users who “sign up now” for the new “Twitter Blue with Verification” can get a blue check next to their name “like celebrities, companies and politicians. Follow along already.” “
It said the service will first be available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, though it was not available on Sunday and there is no indication when it will go live. A Twitter employee, Esther Crawford, told The Associated Press that it’s coming soon but it hasn’t started yet.
Twitter did not respond to an email Sunday seeking comment on the verified account issue and Griffin’s suspension.
Musk later tweeted, “Twitter needs to be the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission.”
If the company were to remove blue checks from current verified users — something that hasn’t happened — that could add to the confusion on the platform during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Like Griffin, some Twitter users have already begun migrating from the platform — Counter Social is another popular option — after layoffs that began Friday have reportedly affected half of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce. They fear that the breakdown of moderation and authentication could create a free-for-all in what has become the Internet’s main means of reliable communication from public agencies and other institutions.
Many companies have stopped advertising on the platform out of concern that it could become more unruly under Musk.
Joel Roth, Twitter’s head of security and integrity, sought to allay such concerns in a tweet on Friday. He said the company’s front-line content mediation staff was the group least affected by job cuts.
Musk tweeted late Friday that “job cuts are not an option when the company is losing more than $4M/day.” He did not provide details of the daily losses on Twitter and said that employees who lost their jobs were offered three months of salary severance.
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