This past weekend saw users of social media titan Twitter go crazy in the wake of extreme left-wing comedian Kathy Griffin getting the boot off the platform for brazenly violating the new terms of service for the platform in regard to openly impersonating other people.
Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, put out a post issuing a warning that going forward, all accounts would be slammed with a permanent ban without warning if they tried to maliciously impersonate other accounts.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” stated Musk via social media. “Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning.”
“This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” continued the new CEO. “Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark.”
The comedian’s account was issued the ban in the wake of intentionally impersonating Musk himself by swapping both her user name to “Elon Musk” and her profile photo to a picture of him, despite her handle remaining “@kathygriffin.”
Mockery and memes were quickly spawned across the platform targeting the 62-year old Griffin with quite a few major posts utilizing the very weird and highly controversial photo shoot when she held a fake, severed head of then-President Donald Trump for the camera.
James Woods, a popular conservative actor, highlighted a meme on his account showing Musk holding the head of Kathy Griffin.
“In context maybe the greatest meme ever,” stated Woods on the post.
In context maybe the greatest meme ever… pic.twitter.com/X5lfcmymf0
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) November 7, 2022
Musk put forth a response to another Twitter account highlighting the news that Griffin had been booted for impersonating him by first tossing out his own joke at her expense and then claiming he may lat her back onto the platform later.
“Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian,” Musk stated. “But if she really wants her account back, she can have it.”
Musk went on to state a bit later that she would also need to pay the new $8 fee to use his new Twitter Blue.
Musk went on to claim that banning accounts for malicious impersonation does not go against his views regarding the idea of free speech. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” stated Musk in another tweet.
Twitter already has quite clear-cut rules against the impersonation of others. “You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations to mislead, confuse, or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter,” the terms of service for the platform states.
There is an exception to this rule in the form of parody accounts, but the accounts must be clearly marked as such to skirt the rule.
“If we determine a profile features another’s image, we will also evaluate the context in which the image is used,” the terms of service state. “We are most likely to take action if an account falsely claims to be the entity portrayed in the profile photo, as with impersonation or fake accounts.”
Other notable memes spawned from the incident:
— The Right To Bear Memes (@grandoldmemes) November 7, 2022
— Mostly Peaceful Memes (@MostlyPeacefull) November 7, 2022
I must admit, I never thought Kathy Griffin would be the cause that finally rallied the Twitter elite back to the cause of free speech. #freekathygriffin
— David Sacks (@DavidSacks) November 7, 2022
Got em! pic.twitter.com/WBn0vYVxYb
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 7, 2022
Someone needs to photoshop this with Elon and Kathy Griffin. pic.twitter.com/oieCTVv0ac
— James Morrow (@pwafork) November 7, 2022