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By Jack Phillips
November 7, 2022 Updated: November 7, 2022




Several celebrities were suspended by Twitter on Sunday and Monday after they impersonated new owner Elon Musk, who simultaneously issued a warning that impersonations of other users is prohibited unless they clearly state it’s a parody.


Kathy Griffin, who achieved notoriety after posting a photo of herself holding the severed head of former President Donald Trump, was suspended from the platform on Sunday evening after she changed her name and photo to “Elon Musk.” Ethan Klein, a left-wing podcaster and YouTube star who hosted h3h3 Productions, was reportedly suspended after doing the same.


Actress Valerie Bertinelli had similarly appropriated Musk’s screen name—posting a series of tweets in support of Democratic candidates on Saturday before switching back to her true name. “Okey-dokey. I’ve had fun and I think I made my point,” she wrote afterward.



Before the stunt, Bertinelli claimed the original purpose of the blue verification checkmark was to be granted free of charge to people whose identity Twitter employees had confirmed; with journalists accounting for a big portion of recipients. “It simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you,” Bertinelli noted.


Musk, however, previously wrote that it has created a social media caste system and also alleged that former Twitter employees were selling verified badges for thousands of dollars behind the scenes.


Another user, YouTuber “Count Dankula,” changed his profile to “Donald Trump” over the weekend and used Trump’s presidential photo, posting jokes and memes before he changed his profile back. As of Monday, his account appeared to be active. Dankula, whose real name is Mark Meechan, was imprisoned in the United Kingdom for posting a joke video showing his dog performing what appeared to be a Nazi salute in what many commentators said was an Orwellian attack on free speech.

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks up as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway, on Aug. 29, 2022. (Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

Late on Sunday, Musk wrote that accounts that engage in “impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.


“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” he wrote.


It’s not confirmed if Klein or Griffin were suspended for impersonating Musk. The Epoch Times has contacted Twitter for comment.


Musk joked in response to another user that Griffin “was suspended for impersonating a comedian.”



“But if she really wants her account back, she can have it … for 8$,” Musk wrote, referring to last week’s plan to charge verified users $8 to keep their status on the platform.


Actress Sarah Silverman suggested that her account was locked when she changed her name and photo to Musk. As of Monday, her account appeared to still be active.


Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe, a verified user, had his account suspended after he, too, impersonated the Tesla CEO, according to reports.


In the meantime, some companies have paused advertising on the platform out of concern it could become more unruly under Musk, according to a Twitter post from the new owner. Musk wrote last Friday, meanwhile, that there was no choice but to cut jobs “when the company is losing over $4M/day.” He did not provide details on the daily losses at Twitter and said employees who lost their jobs were offered three months’ pay as severance.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips


Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New

 

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I got no time for that type of social media.
 
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