Twitter has suspended comedian Kathy Griffin for representing the company’s new owner, Elon Musk.
Griffin became the first celebrity to lose tweeting privileges after a prominent user impersonated Musk over the weekend in an effort to highlight potential flaws in the social media company’s plans to overhaul its verification system.
Musk has made the $8 Twitter subscription plan his signature offering to bolster the company’s revenue. The new plan quickly spread over the weekend, with the company ultimately deciding to delay the service until after the midterms.
The updated Twitter Blue subscription plan allows paid users to get a blue checkmark on their profile, an option 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 unveiled plan drew widespread backlash, and in a show of defiance, some celebrities on the platform posed as Musk over the weekend, with a blue check mark on their profiles.
Comedian Sarah Silverman used her verified account to troll Musk by copying his profile picture, cover image and name. A tweet from Silverman’s account was the only one that stood out @SarahKSilverman the handle
“I’m a free speech absolutist and I eat doodya for breakfast every day,” Silverman he tweeted Saturday. His account also retweeted messages supporting Democratic candidates.
Silverman’s account was labeled as “temporarily restricted” on Sunday, with a warning that “there has been unusual activity from this account” displayed to visitors before logging in. The comedian then changed his account to his usual form, with his name and image.
Television actress Valerie Bertinelli made a similar switch account name To the CEO of Twitter, the tweet that friday”[t]A blue tick meant that your identity was verified. Fraudsters would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!” He then responded to a follower who asked how the checkmark doesn’t apply, to write“[y]You can buy a blue badge for $7.99 a month without verifying who you are.
After changing his profile name to Musk, Bertinelli tweeted and retweeted various Democratic candidates and hashtags, including “VoteBlueForDemocracy” and “#VoteBlueIn2022.”
The actress changed her account name to Valerie Bertinelli on Sunday. the tweet“[o]I had a good time key-dokey and I think I gave my opinion”.
On Sunday, Musk he tweeted that, “Going forward, any substitution without Twitter clearly defining ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.” He too he tweeted A name change on Twitter will “result in the temporary loss of the verified check mark.”
Also, Musk said Twitter users will not receive a warning before the suspension. “This will be clearly identified as a condition of signing up for Twitter Blue,” he said he tweeted.
Griffin’s account was suspended Monday morning, and it was unclear how long it would remain in effect. Musk sneered Griffin On Sunday, he was “punished for impersonating a comedian.” Musk also tweeted that Griffin can recover his account Paying Twitter Blue $8 a month, though it wasn’t clear if Musk was serious.
CNN fired Griffin in 2017 after the comedian was photographed holding a bloody head that resembled then-President Donald Trump. Griffin co-hosted a New Year’s Eve program with Anderson Cooper for a decade.
The crackdown on accounts came after Musk bought the company and pledged to recover the accounts of users who had been banned from the platform, especially by Trump. Musk has also said he will limit restrictions on the company’s content and require a paid subscription to verify the account.
In recent months, Musk has shared conspiracy theories about the attack on Paul Pelosi, called Democrats the party of “division and hate” compared to Former Twitter CEO Joseph Stalin and warned that “the virus of the awakening will destroy civilization.”