Twitter suspends high-profile accounts after introducing permabans for impersonations

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midian182

Posts: 8,484   +104
Staff member
A hot potato: From the time before he took over Twitter, Elon Musk has said that he's a proponent of free speech. But that commitment is being called into question after several high-profile verified accounts were suspended, possibly permanently, seemingly for impersonating the world's richest person.

Musk yesterday tweeted one of the rules he's implementing as Twitter's new overlord: "any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying 'parody' will be permanently suspended," he wrote.

Musk added that Twitter currently issues warnings before suspensions, but now that it is rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning before it takes action.

The billionaire recently confirmed that the optional Twitter Blue service is increasing in price to $8 per month, as opposed to $20, and those who subscribe will be verified. This has brought questions about verified users impersonating well-known people. Musk said this is addressed by including a secondary tag below the name of someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians. It was confirmed yesterday that the new verification system won't roll out until after the US midterm elections.

Some current verified users have been mocking Musk by impersonating him. Kathy Griffin changed her display name to Elon Musk and made a profile pic similar to the Twitter owner's. She then tweeted, "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.)." The comedian was suspended on Sunday.

Actor Rich Sommer, known for his portrayal of Harry Crane on Mad Men, was also suspended for impersonating Musk, so was the Australian satire website The Chaser, even though it marked the account as a parody and chose the username 'Elon Musk Fondles Dogs.' Kotaku notes that Ethan Klein and Chipzel have also been suspended/restricted despite following the parody-label rules. Sarah Silverman's account was temporarily locked for her impersonation.

It's speculated that some, but definitely not all, of the suspensions are related to another rule Musk announced that sees the temporary loss of the verified checkmark after any name change.

Many are pointing to the irony of a Musk tweet from October 28 that read, "Comedy is now legal on Twitter." He's also said nobody should be given lifetime bans and promised to allow Donald Trump back onto the platform, even though the former president says he doesn't want to come back.

Part of Musk's restructuring of Twitter involves laying off around half its staff, or about 3,700 people. The company is now facing a lawsuit over claims that the action was illegal due to the insufficient notice. It's a situation Musk is familiar with: the same thing happened at Tesla a few months ago.

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m3tavision

Posts: 1,111   +941
So he can spread BS conspiracy theories but people can't make fun of him without risking the permabans he said he wouldn't do. Got it.

Woe unto the staff he gutted that has to deal with all this idiocy.

The point of free speech, is that people can speak up when conspiracies are introduced... instead of being silenced.

Making fun of someone is funny... impersonating someone's identity is illegal.


Correct, twitter is gutted of all the multiple accounts and the idiocy that has been taking place on that platform. Now an adult is in charge and all the children are crying...
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,957   +7,004
Elon Musk stans defending Elon Musk unironically with "his company, his rules" while also championing unrestricted free speech. The hypocrisy is deafening.
Twitter has been using the "private company" thing to excuse their horrible behavior for years now. It's just getting thrown at twitter stand who are pearl clutching over elon's existence.

Also, impersonating a verified account is not free speech.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 1,111   +941
Twitter has been using the "private company" thing to excuse their horrible behavior for years now. It's just getting thrown at twitter stand who are pearl clutching over elon's existence.

Also, impersonating a verified account is not free speech.
It amazes me of how many people do not understand, how many normal people have had their accounts BANNED for not having the right ideas or supporting the right Candidate.

Same 2,000 mods whos job it was to every day ban at least 10 "MAGA" "Election Deniers" accounts.... because they were SJW and had their woke twitter armor on. Millions of Americans were silenced, because these child employees didn't like what Others were saying...

Now, these kids are going to have to deal with reality and learn to express their ideas in the public space, bcz they can no longer silence the majority who have history & facts on their side.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,957   +7,004
It amazes me of how many people do not understand, how many normal people have had their accounts BANNED for not having the right ideas or supporting the right Candidate.

Same 2,000 mods whos job it was to every day ban at least 10 "MAGA" "Election Deniers" accounts.... because they were SJW and had their woke twitter armor on. Millions of Americans were silenced, because these child employees didn't like what Others were saying...

Now, these kids are going to have to deal with reality and learn to express their ideas in the public space, bcz they can no longer silence the majority who have history & facts on their side.
For the vast majority twitter is a dumping ground of verbal diarrhea and petty arguments by the mentally unwell. It's only use is headlines from companies, celebrities, or sport teams they follow.

After all, twitter only represents, based on account usage, 0.2% of all Americans. Which makes the meltdowns even funnier.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 769   +744
Twitter has been using the "private company" thing to excuse their horrible behavior for years now. It's just getting thrown at twitter stand who are pearl clutching over elon's existence.
It's not an excuse; the Constitutions 1st Amendment protections only apply to the Federal Government restricting Free Speech (which even then can be done under specific circumstances) per numerous Supreme Court decisions.

Or put another way: You do not have the right to come onto someone or some organizations private property and scream "Aliens are Real"; they are well within their Constitutional rights to kick you off their property for violating their rules. And Twitter (and basically every other non-Government website) is ultimately a *private* network, and thus is well within it's Constitutional rights to kick off anyone for, frankly, any reason they choose.

And that's what people like you simply refuse to understand: Private entities have rights, and one of those is to not have viewpoints they do not agree with forced upon them by others. Your Free Speech rights end the second you step foot (physically or virtually) into a private domain. Whether you like it or not.
 

m3tavision

Posts: 1,111   +941
Paul Pelosi got into a hammer fight with a gay prostitute... Fact or fiction?

Given what we know from the news... and why the story has officially changed 4 times... it is left to anyone's speculation, until the Authorities squelch that speculation with actual timeline.

They DA can't even agree on a timeline....



But none of that is someone trying to pretend they are someone else... or stealing/using Someone else's identity. Musk is winning the freedom war... and fascist who want an Authoritarian rule and mass censorship... are crying.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,957   +7,004
It's not an excuse; the Constitutions 1st Amendment protections only apply to the Federal Government restricting Free Speech (which even then can be done under specific circumstances) per numerous Supreme Court decisions.

Or put another way: You do not have the right to come onto someone or some organizations private property and scream "Aliens are Real"; they are well within their Constitutional rights to kick you off their property for violating their rules. And Twitter (and basically every other non-Government website) is ultimately a *private* network, and thus is well within it's Constitutional rights to kick off anyone for, frankly, any reason they choose.

And that's what people like you simply refuse to understand: Private entities have rights, and one of those is to not have viewpoints they do not agree with forced upon them by others. Your Free Speech rights end the second you step foot (physically or virtually) into a private domain. Whether you like it or not.
Everyone using the excuse you just laid out get their underwear in a twist when Musk does it. Hence the "its a private company sweaty" meme.

also, its not that black and white. Twitter, like all social media companies, is protected by section 230a safe harbor protections as a "platform", not a "publisher", which shields them from the actions of their usres. Part of being a platform is you are not allowed to dictate speech and content on said platform, with the exception for "obscene content'. If you censor comments based on what you do not like, that makes you a "publisher" under 230a, which means you forfeit all safe harbor protections.

Twitter, like google and facebook, has been having their cake and eating it too, and frankly section 230a's vague language around what is considered "obscene" has been abused to high heaven. Twitter, by all rights, should be treated as a publisher and held legally liable for all content posted on its platform, since it wants to censor people.
 

nnguy2

Posts: 649   +1,490
Given what we know from the news... and why the story has officially changed 4 times... it is left to anyone's speculation, until the Authorities squelch that speculation with actual timeline.

They DA can't even agree on a timeline....



But none of that is someone trying to pretend they are someone else... or stealing/using Someone else's identity. Musk is winning the freedom war... and fascist who want an Authoritarian rule and mass censorship... are crying.
This appealing to unknown is getting tiring from conspiracy peddling fools.
 

gamerk2

Posts: 769   +744
Everyone using the excuse you just laid out get their underwear in a twist when Musk does it. Hence the "its a private company sweaty" meme.
At no point did I mention how Musk chooses to moderate (or not) his platform.
also, its not that black and white. Twitter, like all social media companies, is protected by section 230a safe harbor protections as a "platform", not a "publisher", which shields them from the actions of their usres. Part of being a platform is you are not allowed to dictate speech and content on said platform, with the exception for "obscene content'. If you censor comments based on what you do not like, that makes you a "publisher" under 230a, which means you forfeit all safe harbor protections.
"Obscene Content" is not strictly defined and open to interpretation. Pornography sure. Physical threats? Veiled ones? Content that is veiled racism and promotes violence against certain groups?

Twitter, like google and facebook, has been having their cake and eating it too, and frankly section 230a's vague language around what is considered "obscene" has been abused to high heaven. Twitter, by all rights, should be treated as a publisher and held legally liable for all content posted on its platform, since it wants to censor people.
As you said: You can't have it both ways. By your admission, the "obscene" is vague and not defined, and can be interpreted very widely from individual to individual. You can't turn around and then say "so Twitter should be treated as a publisher" without first coming to a definitive definition of what qualifies as "obscene" content.


Frankly, the *real* problem is the laws governing all this could use a once-over. [Note: I am in absolutely no way in support of repealing section 230a; that would kill the internet as we know it. I'm just realistic that most of the laws we have are based on telecommunications and not well suited to governing the internet].
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,420   +7,867
Given what we know from the news... and why the story has officially changed 4 times... it is left to anyone's speculation, until the Authorities squelch that speculation with actual timeline.

They DA can't even agree on a timeline....



But none of that is someone trying to pretend they are someone else... or stealing/using Someone else's identity. Musk is winning the freedom war... and fascist who want an Authoritarian rule and mass censorship... are crying.
Because Musk, unsurprisingly, is showing his fascist and authoritarian side?

There are many out there who don't GAF about Musk and what he does. Just like when he did not "pwn" the company, he's free to do what he wants - even if he is throwing temper tantrums and retaliating against those who do not see him as God Almighty. https://www.foxbusiness.com/enterta...out-calls-social-media-platform-cesspool-hate
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 8,420   +7,867
It's not an excuse; the Constitutions 1st Amendment protections only apply to the Federal Government restricting Free Speech (which even then can be done under specific circumstances) per numerous Supreme Court decisions.

Or put another way: You do not have the right to come onto someone or some organizations private property and scream "Aliens are Real"; they are well within their Constitutional rights to kick you off their property for violating their rules. And Twitter (and basically every other non-Government website) is ultimately a *private* network, and thus is well within it's Constitutional rights to kick off anyone for, frankly, any reason they choose.

And that's what people like you simply refuse to understand: Private entities have rights, and one of those is to not have viewpoints they do not agree with forced upon them by others. Your Free Speech rights end the second you step foot (physically or virtually) into a private domain. Whether you like it or not.
Trust me - you are wasting your keystrokes. I've tried the approach. It's beyond comprehension for some even though Trump lost his lawsuit that was specifically related to this - https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/trump-lawsuit-twitter-ban-dismissed
 

Reallyhow

Posts: 102   +209
I love how when Trump was removed, the comments were alight with comments of Twitter being so anti-conservative, dare they say fascist. That they shouldn't have the right to do this! They're a public outlet!

But the second a conservative is doing it, it's fine. This kind of selective reasoning is why y'all are unfit to vote or lead.
 
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