Comedian Kathy Griffin’s Twitter account was suspended Sunday after she changed the account’s name to “Elon Musk” and mocked the social media platform’s new owner. Griffin used her re-dubbed “Elon Musk” account to implore U.S. citizens to vote for Democrats during Tuesday’s midterm elections in order to protect abortion rights.
“I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right,” she wrote as Musk; her account was suspended shortly afterwards.
It is currently not known if Griffin’s suspension is permanent or temporary, and it comes on the heels of Musk’s announcement that all Twitter handles that are impersonating public figures must be clearly labeled as “parody” accounts or face instant permabans.
The rule against impersonating notable personalities had existed prior to Musk’s takeover of Twitter, but had previously not consisted of immediate action or automatic permanent expulsion from the platform.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted on Sunday, shortly after Griffin’s ouster.
“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning,” the Tesla CEO added in a follow-up. “This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue.”
Musk also noted that Twitter’s new verification system – which charges an $8 per month subscription fee, and allows even standard users to add a blue checkmark next to their name – would include adding a level of red tape to deal with if account name changes are made.
“Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark,” Musk stated.
Other Twitter accounts that have been banned for impersonating public figures under Musk’s regime include one page claiming to belong to conservative journalist Andy Ngo, and another purporting to be actor Keanu Reeves that was created to criticize Musk’s “parody” policy.