On November 6th, comedian Kathy Griffin had her Twitter account suspended for unspecified reasons – though many believe it’s related to her mocking Elon Musk. For those that haven’t heard, Musk recently completed his takeover of Twitter on October 27 and has already implemented some stark changes.
Over the past week, some users have changed their Twitter name to Elon Musk in an effort to critique his handling of the takeover thus far. One of the more notable users to do so was Kathy Griffin – she also changed her profile photo to match. With her verified blue check, it looked like his account at first glance.
While the reasoning wasn’t specified, the news came at the same time Elon Musk tweeted, “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended.” The new CEO also added there wouldn’t be a warning before the suspension.
Not long after her suspension, Kathy Griffin found a way to return to the social media platform – this time tweeting from her mother’s account, who passed away in 2020. Just like with her account, she changed the profile photo and name to match that of Elon Musk. She tweeted one hashtag – #FreeKathy.
She didn’t stop there. In a direct reply to Musk’s tweet about impersonation, Griffin tweeted, “I’m back from the grave to say… #FreeKathy #TipIt.” Musk later replied, joking that Griffin was actually suspended for ‘impersonating a comedian.’ She then pleaded with him to do a better job running his new company.
Musk had one joke left in him, tweeting ‘if she really wants her account back, she can have it,’ before adding, ‘for $8’ in a second tweet. He was referencing the $8 subscription that would allow anyone to get a verified blue check mark – one of the biggest reasons celebrities are complaining about the takeover.
Griffin initially received some criticism for using her deceased mother’s account, but the comedian wasn’t having any of it – adding her mother would be on her side. “My wonderful mother had an account that I ran for her. She passed away, but I always kept the account. Trust me, she would be with me on this.”
Kathy Griffin Wasn’t Alone in Her Critique of Elon Musk
While Kathy Griffin was the first high-profile celebrity to be suspended as a result of the mocking and impersonating, she wasn’t the only one to take part. She was met by a slew of other verified accounts and other users that oppose Musk’s ‘authoritarian’ leadership – he hasn’t even been CEO for two weeks.
Sarah Silverman briefly changed her profile photo and name to match Elon Musk before tweeting, ‘I am a freedom of speech absolutist and I eat doody for breakfast every day.’ As a result, Twitter ‘temporarily restricted’ her account until she decided to change her name and profile photo back to what it was before.
Valerie Bertinelli did the same, tweeting, “[t]he blue checkmark simply meant your identity was verified. Scammers would have a harder time impersonating you. That no longer applies. Good luck out there!” She then posted her support for Democratic candidates before switching her name and photo back.
There were also two verified accounts that were suspended – alongside Kathy Griffin – for impersonating others. One account impersonated right-wing provocateur Andy Ngo, while another impersonated Keanu Reeves – according to Ben Collins, a senior reporter for NBC. At least Griffin wasn’t completely alone.
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