BOSTON (AP) – Elon Musk tweeted Sunday that Twitter will permanently suspend any accounts on the social media platform that impersonate others.
The platform’s new owners have issued a warning after several celebrities changed their Twitter display names – not their account names – and tweeted ‘Elon Musk’ in response to the decision. Billionaire’s offers verified accounts to all who come in for $8 a month as he simultaneously lays off a large portion of the workforce.
“In the future, any Twitter that handles impersonation without explicitly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk wrote. While Twitter previously issued a warning before suspending, it is now rolling out “widely verified, there will be no warnings.”
In fact, “any name change” would force a temporary loss of the verified check mark, the world’s richest man said.
Comedian Kathy Griffin Her account was suspended Sunday after she changed her display name to Musk. She told a Bloomberg reporter that she also used his profile picture.
“I guess not ALL content moderators have been given away? Lol,” Griffin joked later on Mastodon, an alternative social media platform she set up an account for last week.
Actress Valerie Bertinelli similarly appropriated Musk’s on-screen name – posting a series of tweets in support of the Democratic candidates on Saturday before switching back to her real name. “Okay. I had fun and I think I made my point,” she tweeted later.
Before the stunt, Bertinelli noted the original purpose of the blue verification check mark. It is freely available to those with a confirmed Twitter employee identity; with journalists making up a large portion of the recipients. “It simply means your identity has been verified. Scammers will have a harder time impersonating you,” noted Bertinelli.
“That no longer applies. Good luck out there! ” she added.
He claims that the $8 verified accounts are Musk’s way to democratize the service. On Saturday, a Twitter update for iOS devices listed on Apple’s app store said users who “sign up now” for “Twitter Blue with Verified” could get blue check mark next to their name “like celebrities, companies and politicians. followed. “
It says the service will first be available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. However, it is not available on Sunday and there is no indication of when it will go live. One Twitter employee, Esther Crawford, told The Associated Press it’s coming “soon but it’s not out yet.”
Twitter did not respond on Sunday to an email seeking comment regarding the verified account issue and Griffin’s suspension.
Musk later tweeted: “Twitter needs to be by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That is our mission.”
If the company stripped existing verified users’ green checks – which hasn’t happened yet – that could exacerbate misinformation on the platform during Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Like Griffin, some Twitter users have begun to migrate away from the platform – Counter Social is another popular alternative – following the layoffs that began on Friday, which reportedly affected about a year. half of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce. They fear censorship and broken verification could create a completely free misinformation about what has been the internet’s main conduit for trusted communications from public agencies. rights and other organisations.
Many companies have halted advertising on the platform out of concern it could become more bohemian under Musk.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, sought to assuage such concerns in a tweet Friday. He said the company’s frontline content moderators were the group least affected by the job cuts.
Musk tweeted late Friday that he had no choice but to cut jobs “when the company is losing more than $4 million/day.” He did not provide details on the daily loss on Twitter and said employees who lost their jobs were offered three months of pay as severance.
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