Kathy Griffin has been suspended from Twitter for impersonating Elon Musk

Kathy Griffin has been suspended from Twitter for impersonating Elon Musk

New York
CNN Business

Comedian Kathy Griffin has been suspended by Twitter for impersonating the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.

Griffin appeared to be the first celebrity to lose his tweeting privileges after a wave of high-profile users impersonating Musk over the weekend, aimed at pointing out potential flaws in the social media company’s plans for an overhauled verification system.

Musk made Twitter’s $8 subscription plan his signature offering to boost the company’s revenue. There was a new plan hastily taken out over the weekend before the company ultimately decided delay service until the end of the intersem.

The updated Twitter Blue subscription plan gives paying users the ability to get a blue tick on their profiles, an option that was previously only available to verified celebrities, politicians, journalists and other public figures. Musk proposed the new feature as a way to fight spam on the platform.

But the partially implemented plan faced widespread backlash, and in a show of defiance, some celebrities on the platform posed as Musk over the weekend, complete with a blue tick on their profiles.

Comedian Sarah Silverman used her verified account to troll Musk, copying his profile picture, cover picture and name. The only thing that distinguished the tweet on Silverman’s account was that @SarahKSilverman the handle.

“I’m a free speech absolutist and I eat a doody for breakfast every day,” Silverman tweeted Saturday. Posts supporting Democratic candidates have also been retweeted on her account.

Silverman’s account was marked as “temporarily restricted” on Sunday, with a warning that “there has been unusual activity from this account” displayed to visitors before they clicked on the profile. The comedian then reverted her account back to its normal form, complete with her name and picture.

Television actress Valerie Bertinelli changed her similarly account name Twitter CEOs, tweeting Friday that “[t]a blue tick simply means that your identity has been verified. It would be harder for scammers to impersonate you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!” She then responded to a follower who asked why the tick was no longer valid, writing“[y]you can buy a blue tick for $7.99 a month without verifying who you are.”

After changing her profile name to Musk, Bertinelli tweeted and retweeted support for several Democratic candidates and hashtags, including “VoteBlueForDemocracy” and “#VoteBlueIn2022.”

On Sunday, the actress changed her account name to Valerie Bertinelli, tweeting“[o]key-dokey I had fun and I think I made my point.”

On Sunday, Musk tweeted that, “Going forward, anything Twitter engages in impersonating without clearly stating ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.” He too tweeted that a name change on Twitter “will cause a temporary loss of the verified ticker”.

Besides, Musk said Twitter users will no longer receive a pre-suspension warning. “This will be clearly identified as a requirement to sign up for Twitter Blue,” he tweeted.

Griffin’s account remained suspended Monday morning, and it was unclear how long it would remain in effect. Musk he mocked Griffin Sunday, joking that she was “suspended for impersonating a comedian.” Musk also tweeted that Griffin could return her account paying $8 a month for Twitter Blue, though it wasn’t clear if Musk was serious.

CNN fire Griffin in 2017 after the comedian was photographed holding a bloody head resembling that of then-President Donald Trump. Griffin co-hosted the New Year’s program with Anderson Cooper for a decade.

The training on the accounts comes after Musk bought the company and promised to restore the accounts of users previously banned from the platform, most notably Trump. Musk also said he would limit the company’s content restrictions and require a paid subscription for an account verification.

In recent months, Musk has shared conspiracy theories on the attack on Paul Pelosi, called Democrats, the party of “division and hate”, compared The former CEO of Twitter warned Joseph Stalin that “the virus of the waking mind will destroy civilization.”

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