New Twitter owner comments after celebrities change usernames to Elon Musk.
Elon Musk has said he will remove impersonating Twitter accounts amid backlash against the billionaire’s decision to offer all users of the platform a blue tick for a monthly fee.
Musk said on Sunday that any accounts “engaged in impersonation” would be permanently suspended after some high-profile accounts changed their names to Elon Musk to protest the Tesla CEO changing the platform’s verification standards.
“Going forward, any Twitter that engages in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted.
“We previously issued a suspension warning, but now that we are rolling out extensive verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly marked as a condition for signing up for Twitter Blue.”
Musk later tweeted that “expanded verification” would democratize journalism and give the public a voice.
Over the weekend, celebrities including comedian Kathy Griffin and actor Valerie Bertinelli changed their names to Elon Musk in an apparent attempt to raise awareness of the dangers of removing identity verification.
As part of Musk’s Twitter Blue subscription service, users will be able to get a blue tick — without having to prove their identity — for a monthly fee of $7.99.
Previously, famous users and accounts considered to be of public interest could apply for a tick for free after verifying their identity.
The new service appeared in the App Store on Saturday, but has not yet launched.
Musk, a self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist,” described the old verification rules as a “masters and peasants system” and pitched the changes as a way to democratize the platform.
Since completing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter last month, Musk has initiated sweeping changes at the influential social media company, including laying off about half of the platform’s 7,500 employees.
Critics have expressed concern that Musk’s ownership of the platform will exacerbate problems with misinformation, hate speech and fake accounts, especially ahead of Tuesday’s key midterm elections in the United States.
Despite concerns on Twitter about a possible voting discrepancy, the New York Times reported on Sunday that the company had decided to delay the rollout of the new service until a day after the survey.
Musk’s plans for the social media giant have also caused unease in the corporate world, as major brands including General Motors, General Mills and Audi have suspended advertising as they try to figure out its direction under new ownership.
Musk, who came under fire last week for tweeting an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, insisted he did not favor a “hellscape free-for-all” but rather a “common digital square.” ”, which allows for a wide range of views.
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