Comedian Kathy Griffin reportedly logged back into Twitter Sunday evening after being banned from the platform earlier in the day for impersonating new Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Musk notified users that they would no longer be able to impersonate other accounts moving forward since the company was moving to implement a new program Monday that would allow anyone to receive a verified account for a monthly fee.
Griffin’s account was temporarily restricted after she impersonated Musk by changing her profile photo to his photo and her user name to “Elon Musk,” even though her handle remained as “@kathygriffin.”
Musk responded to a Twitter account posting the news that Griffin was banned for impersonating him by first taking a swipe at her and then saying he would allow her back on the platform.
“Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian,” Musk tweeted. “But if she really wants her account back, she can have it.”
Musk later added that she would have to pay the $8 fee to use the new Twitter Blue.
“Oh by the way this is KG. I’m tweeting from my dead mother’s account. She would not mind.”
— Kathy Griffin pic.twitter.com/4PwMDdOMZd
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 7, 2022
Deadline reported that Griffin returned to the platform using her dead mother’s account to defend herself, tweeting: “FreeKathy.”
“Apologize in advance for all the comments you’re gonna have to read about how ugly I am and they’re probably gonna throw you in there too,” Griffin allegedly tweeted from her deceased mother’s account. “Oh by the way this is KG. I’m tweeting from my dead mother’s account. She would not mind.”
Apologize in advance for all the comments you’re gonna have to read about how ugly I am and they’re probably gonna throw you in there too. Oh by the way this is KG. I’m tweeting from my dead mother’s account. She would not mind. #FreeKathy
— Maggie Griffin (@TipItMaggieG) November 7, 2022
Around the time Griffin was suspended, Musk explained in a series of tweets that impersonating other people from a verified account would no longer be acceptable.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted. “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,” Musk continued. “Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark.”
“Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world,” Musk later added. “That’s our mission.”
Musk also claimed that banning accounts for impersonation does not go against his views on free speech. “My commitment to free speech extends even to not banning the account following my plane, even though that is a direct personal safety risk,” Musk tweeted.
Twitter has explicit rules prohibiting the impersonation of other people. “You 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 others on Twitter,” the company’s terms of service says.
The company does make exceptions for parody accounts, but the accounts have to clearly state that they are parodies.
“If we determine a profile features another’s image, we will also evaluate the context in which the image is used,” the terms of service state. “We are most likely to take action if an account falsely claims to be the entity portrayed in the profile photo, as with impersonation or fake accounts.”