Elon Musk, a Self-Described “Free-Speech Absolutist,” Shuts Down Spoof Accounts That Make Fun of Him

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“Free speech absolutists” who call themselves such On Sunday, Elon Musk made the announcement that he would be taking action against parody Twitter accounts that impersonate him or anybody else.

On Sunday evening, Elon Musk sent out a post in which he said that any Twitter profile that engaged in impersonation without explicitly declaring that it was a parody would be permanently banned.


“In the past, we would provide a warning before suspending someone’s account. However, because we are in the process of implementing extensive verification, there will be no notice. “This will be prominently displayed as a prerequisite for joining Twitter Blue,” he said in a discussion, referring to the forthcoming change. In addition, “any name change at all may trigger a temporary loss of the verified checkmark,” which is a requirement for several websites.

This happened after a number of prominent verified Twitter users, such as comedians Kathy Griffin and Sarah Silverman and actress Valerie Bertinelli, changed their account names to read “Elon Musk.” They did this to demonstrate that Musk’s new plan to give blue verification checkmarks to anyone who will pay $8 a month is flawed. According to Musk’s plan, anyone with $8 can impersonate anyone else and potentially spread disinformation. Griffin’s account was deactivated as of Sunday night, while Silverman and Bertinelli have reverted to using their birth identities.

“Elon just locked my account on Twitter,” the user wrote. I’m assuming that not ALL of the content moderators have been fired? Later, Griffin made a joke on Mastodon, a social network that has witnessed a surge in new members looking for an alternative to Twitter. “Lol,” he said on the platform.

Griffin Newman, a podcaster, sent a tweet that mocked Musk that was clearly designated as “parody,” but the message nonetheless ran afoul of the new regulations, which resulted in the account being banned late on Sunday.


Musk has called himself a “free-speech absolutist,” and he believes that information on Twitter should not be filtered much beyond what is required by law. Musk posted the following statement one week ago, after the successful completion of his $44 billion purchase of Twitter: “Comedy is now legal on Twitter.”

Musk had the following sentiment in April: “I hope that even my toughest detractors stay on Twitter because that is what it means to have free expression.”

However, in an interview that took place in 2019 and was published in The Atlantic, Musk said that “accurate and amusing satire is crucial to a functioning democracy,” and then he joked, “Except when it’s about me.” This statement may be more revealing than others.

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