He Who Must Not Be Impersonated? Verified Twitter Accounts Which Mimicked Elon Musk Got The Ax

Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter, said that the social media platform will permanently suspend those handles impersonating him if they don’t clearly specify “parody.” Twitter is, however, reportedly even taking down handles that are marking their accounts as “parody.”

What Happened: Musk issued the warning after some users changed their display names to mimic the Tesla Inc. TSLA CEO. Verified users such as Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Valerie Bertinelli, comedian Kathy Griffin and chiptune artist Chipzel changed their usernames and profile pictures to mimic Musk. 

See Also: Elon Musk's Life After Twitter Acquisition: 'I Wake Up, Work, Go To Sleep, Work, Do That 7 Days A Week'

Their aim was to make Musk realize that by monetizing the verification blue tick, anyone can impersonate celebrities, that too with a verification badge, according to Kotaku.com. 

Bertinelli later switched back to her true name. But the accounts of Griffin, Chipzel and former NFL punter Chris Kluwe were suspended.

Chipzel, however, had changed the name to 'elon musk "parody,"' which does not violate the rule, stated the Kotaku.com report. Despite that, the account was suspended. At the time of writing, Chipzel’s account was restored, though with a warning page — “Caution: This account is temporarily restricted.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to Benzinga’s request for comment.

Another casualty reportedly was the Australian website, The Chaser. Despite identifying as “parody,” the handle was suspended. It was later reinstated with a new name, ‘Elon Musk Fondles Dogs.’

Why It's Important: Since Musk announced that users can get verified blue tick accounts by paying $8 per month, many people have criticized his plan. The likes of Stephen King, Kara Swisher and a massive trove of verified users even threatened to leave Twitter if Musk went ahead with his plan

This story was originally published on Nov. 7, 2022.

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