Musk vows to remove Twitter scammers after celebrity protests | technology

Twitter’s new owner makes comments after celebrities changed username to Elon Musk

Elon Musk has announced he will remove Twitter accounts impersonating others amid backlash over the billionaire’s decision to offer all users the platform’s blue tick for a monthly fee.

Musk said Sunday that all accounts “engaging in impersonation” would be permanently banned after some high-profile accounts changed their name to Elon Musk in protest of the Tesla CEO’s shaking of the platform’s verification standards.

“Going forward, any Twitter engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted.

“We used to issue a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out a full review there will be no warning. This will be clearly marked as a condition of signing up for Twitter Blue.”

Musk later tweeted that “widespread verification” would democratize journalism and give the public a voice.

Over the weekend, celebrities like comedian Kathy Griffin and actress Valerie Bertinelli changed their screen names to Elon Musk to highlight the dangers of abolishing identity verification.

Under Musk’s Twitter Blue subscription service, users can get a blue tick without having to verify their identity for a monthly fee of $7.99.

Previously, celebrity users and accounts of public interest could apply for a tick free of charge after verifying their identity.

The new service appeared on Apple’s App Store on Saturday, but has yet to go live.

Musk, a self-professed “free speech absolutist,” has described the old verification rules as a “system of lords and pawns” and called the changes a way to democratize the platform.

Since completing his $44 billion purchase of Twitter last month, Musk has initiated sweeping changes at the influential social media company, including laying off about half of the platform’s 7,500 employees.

Critics have expressed fears that Musk’s ownership of the platform will exacerbate problems of misinformation, hate speech and fake accounts, especially ahead of Tuesday’s crucial midterm elections in the United States.

Amid concerns within Twitter about possible voting disagreements, the New York Times reported on Sunday that the company had decided to delay the launch of the new service until a day after the election.

Musk’s plans for the social media giant have also sparked unease in the corporate world, with major brands including General Motors, General Mills and Audi pausing advertising for clarity on direction under their new ownership.

Musk, who came under fire last week for tweeting a baseless conspiracy theory about the attack on the husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has insisted he doesn’t prefer a “free-for-all hellscape” but one “common digital city square”. ‘ which allows for a wide range of views.


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