In a tweet on Sunday, Elon Musk said that any account on the social media site Twitter that pretends to be someone else will be shut down for good.
The new owner of the platform sent out the warning after some celebrities changed their Twitter display names—not their account names—to “Elon Musk” and tweeted as him in response to the billionaire’s decision to sell verified accounts to anyone for $8 per month.
‘Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,’ Musk wrote. Twitter used to send users warnings before suspending people’s accounts. But once “widespread verification” is up and running, Twitter will no longer send out these kinds of warnings.
The person who is currently the richest person on earth said that a verified checkmark would be temporarily taken away if even the slightest change was made to a person’s name.
The comedian Kathy Griffin’s account was closed on Sunday after she changed her screen name to Musk.
On Saturday, actress Valerie Bertinelli did the same thing. She tweeted in support of Democratic candidates before going back to her real name. ‘Okey-dokey. I’ve had fun and I think I made my point,’ she tweeted afterward.
Bertinelli talked about why the checkmark with the blue background was first put in place before the stunt. People who had their identities checked by Twitter employees were able to get it for free. A large number of the people who were allowed in were journalists.
‘It simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you,’ Bertinelli noted.
‘That no longer applies. Good luck out there!’ she added.
Musk says that the $8 verified accounts are his way of making the service easier for the general public to use. Users who “sign up now” for the new “Twitter Blue with verification” can get the blue checkmark next to their names, “just like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you already follow,” according to a Twitter update for iOS devices that was released on Saturday and made available in the Apple app store.
According to the information given, the service would first be offered in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, and New Zealand. On the other hand, no one could use it on Sunday, and no one knew when it would be available to everyone. A Twitter employee named Esther Crawford told The Associated Press that the feature will be available “soon, but not yet.”
On Sunday, an email seeking comments was sent to Twitter but there was no response.
Some Twitter users have already started to move away from the platform and toward alternatives like Mastodon and Counter Social after layoffs started on Friday. About half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees are said to have been affected. Because of these other sites, these users are leaving Twitter.
They are worried that a breakdown in moderation and verification could lead to a free-for-all of false information being spread on the internet, which has traditionally been the main way that reliable communications from public agencies and other institutions have been sent.
Many businesses have stopped advertising on the platform because they are afraid that Musk will make it less legal.
Yoel Roth, who is in charge of safety and integrity at Twitter, tried to calm some of the worries in a tweet he sent out on Friday. He said that the job cuts had the least impact on the people who were in charge of content moderation on the front lines of the company.
On Friday night, Elon Musk went on Twitter to say that the company would be laying off workers because it was losing more than $4 million every single day.
He didn’t say how many people were losing their jobs at Twitter every day, but he did say that people who lost their jobs were given the equivalent of three months’ pay as severance.