November 8, 2022: After a few celebrities and blue-check verified Twitter users changed their accounts to mimic the social network’s recent owner Elon Musk, he called for a swift change to policy enforcement.
On Sunday, Twitter will permanently suspend impersonators’ funds without warning if they are not clearly labeled as parodies.
On Sunday, in a series of tweets, the Tesla, SpaceX, and now Twitter CEO seemed to change his mentality on permanent bans and wrote:
“Going forward, any Twitter handles to engage in impersonation without clearly which specify “parody” will be permanently suspended
Previously, we provided a warning before the doldrums, but since we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no prophecy. This will be recognized as a condition for signing up for Twitter Blue.
Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark.”
After he agreed to buy Twitter in May, Musk argued against lifetime bans and said he would reverse one on Donald Trump. Twitter had banned the former president in the wake of the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, stressing Trump’s tweets would incite further violence. Trump has said he would not return to Twitter.
Before Musk closed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on October 28, the social network’s rules specified that users “may not impersonate individuals, groups, or mechanisms to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use an unreal identity in a way that disrupts the of others on Twitter.”
The company previously required that users engaged in parody should “distinguish themselves in BOTH their account name and bio.”
Twitter previously said it would take any of three actions in response to impersonators, including: “profile moderation,” “temporary suspension,” or a “permanent suspension.” Before Musk’s takeover, the platform would not usually jump to a permanent ban of a user’s account for impersonation.
As of Sunday evening, it still needed to update its terms of service to reflect Musk’s direction.
The conclusion of the “Chief Twit,” as he has jokingly called himself, has stirred controversy and consternation, partly because Musk bills himself as a free speech absolutist.