Elon Musk Will Permanently Ban Accounts For Impersonation

Elon Musk’s Twitter has a new rule for everyone with an account on Twitter to follow, as he announced from his own account: “any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended”, The Verge reported. In a follow up tweet, Musk said “Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning.”

According to The Verge, ever since Musk promised his Twitter would bring “power to the people” by offering verification to anyone willing to pay $8 for a subscription, some owners of already verified accounts have been renaming themselves Elon Musk, highlighting the issue that a verification system that doesn’t actually check who controls an account.

The Verge also reported that despite Elon Musk’s earlier statement that no major content decisions would come down until Twitter put together a content moderation council to vote on them, the service’s new owner has made this ruling, apparently, all by himself. The Twitter Terms of Service don’t reflect any new rule changes, and Twitter has not responded to an inquiry from The Verge about how its policies have changed.

The Associated Press reported that the $8 verified accounts are Musk’s way of democratizing the service, he claims. On Saturday, a Twitter update for iOS devices listed on Apple’s app store said users who “sign up now” for the new “Twitter Blue with verification” can get the blue check next to their names “just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow.”

The Hill reported that Musk has angered many users with changes to Twitter’s verification system, asking people to pay $8 a month for a subscription that includes the blue check mark.

According to The Hill, Elon Musk said the rules against impersonations would be “clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” adding that users would also temporarily lose verification if they change their profile name.

Personally, I find that to be a really bad decision. There are a lot of people who like to change their Twitter name to something that fits with Halloween or Christmas. If any of them have paid for the blue check mark, will they lose it by temporarily choosing a festive name? I get the feeling that Elon Musk doesn’t quite understand how people use Twitter.

The Hill also reported that the blue check mark previously was only awarded to authentic and verified accounts, including celebrities, politicians, public agencies, private businesses, and journalists, among others who could prove they had a notable online presence. But, the Hill stated, the new method of paying for a verification mark has raised concerns that it will make it harder to identify trusted sources on the platform.