Kathy Griffin, a famous comedian, has been banned from Twitter, but she still found a way to circumvent the issue. She used her late mother’s account to tweet some more. The actress was suspended the same day when she changed the profile’s title to Elon Musk. The move was seen as a mockery by many people.
Nobody knows if the suspension is a direct result of Griffin’s actions, but it is clear that it happened shortly after Musk stated that accounts impersonating celebrities would be blocked unless marked as parody. Impersonation has never been permitted on Twitter.
Although he claims to be a “free speech absolutist,” Musk seems to be the biggest benefit of his approach. A few instances of impersonation bans weren’t classified as “parody.”
They include a user whose profile impersonated Andy Ngo, who urged Musk to act personally and a user whose page mocked Musk’s “parody” policy by posing as actor Keanu Reeves.
Recent days have seen a surge of Twitter users changing their page names to Musk and posting messages criticizing his libertarian viewpoint and leadership of the network, which he now owns after arranging a $44 billion purchase.
Griffin urged Americans to support Democrats in midterm elections in order to protect abortion rights through her “Elon Musk” account. “I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right,” she tweeted.
Griffin was removed from the network for impersonating Musk, and he reacted to the news by first attacking her before promising to let her use the platform again. “Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian,” Musk tweeted. “But if she really wants her account back, she can have it.”
Musk noted that his support for free speech does not conflict with the decision to block accounts for impersonation. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk tweeted.
“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,” the company’s terms of service says.
The platform makes exceptions for parody accounts: “If we determine a profile features another’s image, we will also evaluate the context in which the image is used,” the terms of service state. “We are most likely to take action if an account falsely claims to be the entity portrayed in the profile photo, as with impersonation or fake accounts.”
Griffin came back to the platform and defended herself by tweeting “FreeKathy” while using the account of her deceased mother. “Apologize in advance for all the comments you’re gonna have to read about how ugly I am and they’re probably gonna throw you in there too,” Griffin allegedly tweeted. “Oh by the way this is KG. I’m tweeting from my dead mother’s account. She would not mind.”
After criticizing Twitter’s content moderation and announcing a new era of free expression, Musk has come under fire for his poor start as its CEO. Some people were worried that Donald Trump, who was banned for allegedly inciting his supporters to invade the U.S. Capitol in a violent manner on January 6, 2021, would be permitted to rejoin.
However, Musk stated that people who had been banned are not likely to come back. In addition, he reduced the size of the Twitter workforce, which was set to be cut by 3,700 workers, to almost half, reducing the company’s capacity to track misinformation and propaganda.
Many users were enraged by Musk’s proposal to charge $8 per month for verified accounts. Of course, if she wants to come back to Twitter, Griffin will have to spend $8 for a new Twitter blue. Many people have changed their page names to Elon Musk because of this. The accounts looked as if they were Musk’s, because they used the same photos that he used, but the URLs were different.
There are celebrities like Stephen King who are worth millions but are still complaining about paying $8 and threatening to leave the platform if they don’t get their way.