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Elon Musk says Twitter will permanently ban users that impersonate accounts

Dado Ruvic / reuters

Before acquiring Twitter, Elon Musk said he was against lifetime suspensions, promising to reinstate banned users like Donald Trump. Now, Musk wrote that Twitter will permanently suspend account impersonators if they are not clearly labeled as parody. The move comes after several verified "blue-check" users changed their accounts to impersonal Musk himself.

Twitter appears to have just banned comedian Kathy Griffin for impersonating Musk, at least temporarily, after she used his name and image in her own verified Twitter account. Other verified accounts impersonating Musk, including Jeph Jacques, also appear to have been kicked off the site.

Prior to Musk's takeover, Twitters rules already stated that users "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 users on Twitter." Parody accounts were required to say so in both their accounts and bio. Consequences included profile moderation, temporary suspension or permanent suspension — though the latter was rarely imposed.

Twitter has been awash in drama over the last few days. Early in Musk's tenure, trolls and racists flooded the site with epithets and other hate speech, presumably to test the new limits of the site. This week, a flood of advertisers put a hold on spending on the site. In reply to a user who suggested a boycott on those companies, Musk tweeted a "a thermonuclear name & shame is exactly what will happen if this continues."