Musk Bans ‘Impersonation’ After Parody Elons Flood Twitter

Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty
Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty

After vowing to make Twitter a bastion of “free speech,” Elon Musk announced a new policy on Sunday that will remove accounts engaging in the type of “impersonation” that comedians and others have used to humorously protest his takeover of the social network in recent days.

“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted Sunday evening.

The mogul added that while users previously received a warning before suspension, moving forward “there will be no warning.”

Celebrities such as Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, and Mad Men star Rich Sommer quickly had their accounts removed for changing their usernames and photos to match Musk’s.

As a fake-Musk, Griffin pushed her audience to vote for Democrats in the forthcoming midterm elections. “After much spirited discussion with the females in my life,” the My Life on the D-List star wrote in one tweet, “I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right (They’re also sexy females, btw.)”

After Griffin’s suspension, Musk joked that she had been banned “for impersonating a comedian.”

“But if she really wants her account back, she can have it,” he wrote in a pair of follow-up tweets. “For $8.”

The parody bans follow—and apparently contradict—an Oct. 28 promise from Musk that no “major content decisions” would occur before the formation of “a content moderation council with widely diverse viewpoints.”

On Sunday night Musk posted: “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk.”

He claimed that Twitter “needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission. Widespread verification will democratize journalism & empower the voice of the people.”

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