As the platform’s users assess the new owner’s stance on free speech, verified Twitter accounts with millions of followers have been suspended after their user names changed to Elon Musk.
Kathy Griffin, a comedian with two million followers on her blue-ticked account, was one of those locked out for disobeying the volatile CEO.
The “free speech absolutist” Musk, who has previously called himself, tweeted on Sunday that “any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended.”
Despite claiming to be a parody, the Twitter account for h3h3Productions, which also changed its user name to Elon Musk, was also blocked.
User @jephjacques changed their display name to Elon Musk and tweeted a series of parodies about Musk’s involvement in every aspect of his new business, including: “look can everyone just stop tweeting for a second? It moves too quickly for me to control it alone.
A short while later, the over 80,000-follower account was suspended.
Musk’s response to a tweet announcing Griffin’s suspension from the service added fuel to the fire that suggested he was personally involved in decisions to ban accounts that target him.
He joked, “Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian,” to which Griffin apparently responded by claiming she was now using her deceased mother’s account.
“I mean… You asshole, you stole that joke,” tweeted @TipItMaggieG, who also went by Elon Musk’s name. “You hack, people have been posting that joke for hours. Do a better job managing this business, please. It once had significance.
With the hashtag #FreeKathy, other users—including “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill—joined the debate.
Musk has made public comments about how to make money ever since completing his $44 billion acquisition of the social media giant.
The firm has already taken steps such as terminating half of its global workforce and charging $8 per month for the previously free blue tick verification.
He entered the US election on Monday, urging “independent-minded voters” to support Republicans.
Given that the presidency is held by a Democrat, “shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, so I recommend voting for a Republican Congress.”