American comedian Kathy Griffin's Twitter account got suspended after she changed her profile name to "Musk."
On November 6, 2022, the 62-year-old star was supported by fans online after she impersonated new Twitter owner Elon Musk and tweeted urging people to vote for Democrats in this week's midterm elections.
Although Kathy Griffin's handle showed her own name, the tag by her blue checkmark read Elon Musk, something which goes against the social media platform's policy against impersonation.
Soon after, her account was suspended, and the move came with a warning from Musk himself, who stated that any account impersonating others will be "permanently suspended" unless they clearly specify "parody" for their actions.
What exactly did Kathy Griffin tweet?
As mentioned above, Kathy Griffin impersonated Elon Musk by changing her moniker to the blue checkmark and violating the social media platform's norms.
According to Vulture, Griffin tweeted as Musk was trying to persuade people to vote for Democrats in November 8's midterm elections. In one of the tweets, she wrote:
“After much spirited discussion with the females in my life. I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right (They’re also sexy females, btw.)”
This move was not appreciated by Musk, who, in a series of tweets, warned others not to do so in order to keep using their Twitter handles. He wrote:
"Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying 'parody' will be permanently suspended."
He continued his statement in another tweet by saying:
"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. "
"Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark."
Actress Valerie Bertinelli was also part of the ongoing trend to change the user profile name to "Elon Musk" but reverted back after the Twitter Chief gave out his warning. She tweeted:
“Okey-dokey I’ve had my fun and I think I made my point. I’m just not a ‘trending’ kind of gal. Never have been, never want to be. Have a safe Sunday everyone! xo.”
Twitter reacts to Kathy Griffin's account suspension
After news of Kathy Griffin's account being suspended for impersonating Elon Musk went viral, Twitterati backed her, leading to the #FreeKathy trend on social media. Several users called out Musk for taking people's "sense of humor" too seriously, while others bashed him by sharing a screenshot of his old tweet where he wrote, "comedy is now legal on Twitter."
Kathy Griffin is not the only one bearing the consequences of Musk's new rules on Twitter. Comedian Griffin Newman's account was also suspended for doing so, even though he tagged his tweets as "parody."
This new move comes after Elon Musk announced an $8 monthly subscription to attain the blue checkmark symbol on the platform, which celebrities, politicians, and other government agencies use to verify their accounts.