Elon Musk’s decision to charge users $8 per month to keep using their verified blue tick has drawn flak on the platform from users and celebrities alike. Emmy-winning comedian Kathy Griffin, best known for her reality TV series “My Life on the D-List”, appears to be the latest celeb to have taken up (proverbial) arms against Musk’s move. After her account got suspended, Griffin figured out a workaround for the ban — by using her late mother Maggie Griffin’s Twitter account to post her thoughts.
Why did Musk monetise blue ticks on Twitter?
After Musk took over Twitter, he brought several changes to the microblogging platform. This includes a revamp of the Twitter Blue plan, which is a subscription service that offers users extra perks such as undoing tweets (within 30 seconds) and bookmarking folders, for a monthly fee of $4.99.
Now, it should be noted that earlier, verification of Twitter accounts was free of cost. All a user had to do was provide official IDs, along with URLs from verified establishments in some cases, to get verified and have the much-coveted blue tick beside their profile name. This blue tick helped users on the platform know that the posts coming from any particular account are verified in terms of facts.
Musk relaunched the Twitter Blue subscription for $7.99 per month with a whole lot of new perks. However, he mandated that if already verified users don’t pay the aforementioned amount, their blue ticks will be removed within a period of 90 days.
ALSO READ: How About $8? Elon Musk Negotiates Twitter Blue-Tick Price With Stephen King, Says ‘Will Explain In Longer Form’
Several users spoke out against the move, including the likes of celebrated author Stephen King and Tennis legend Martina Navratilova. Trying to explain the cause behind the fee, Musk simply said, “We need to pay the bills somehow!”
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As part of his cost-cutting endeavours, Musk went on to lay off nearly half of Twitter’s global workforce, which drew a fresh round of flak on the platform against the billionaire entrepreneur.
ALSO READ: ‘Condemn The Way Twitter Sacked Indian Employees’: IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw On Mass Layoffs
Why did Griffin’s account get suspended?
As an act of protest, Griffin changed her Twitter display name to ‘Elon Musk’, which violated the platform’s policy on false impersonation. Soon enough, her account was suspended for the move.
Musk then followed up with an announcement that from now, any account that impersonates someone else without clearly mentioning that it’s a “parody” will be “permanently suspended”.
Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying “parody” will be permanently suspended
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 6, 2022
Musk also added that earlier, Twitter would warn users before suspending accounts. However, as part of his revamped Twitter policies, “there will be no warning”. “Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark”.
Musk also added that “if she really wants her account back, she can have it… for $8”.
How did Griffin respond?
Soon after Musk posted the banning rules, a tweet was posted from the late Maggie Griffin’s account, which was actually posted by Kathy herself.
Maggie — who also starred on “My Life on the D-List” — passed away at the age of 99 in March 2020. Kathy said she was the one in charge of running Maggie’s account and after her death, she decided not to deactivate the account.
Oh, for gods sake Andy, look at the date on the tweet you are referencing. It is from 2019. 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. Relax. #FreeKathy
— Maggie Griffin (@TipItMaggieG) November 7, 2022
Commenting on the trolls she faced on Twitter for impersonating her mother, Griffin said, “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
Musk, in his signature style, tried to pull a joke on Griffin’s name change, saying “Actually, she was suspended for impersonating a comedian”. To this, Griffin responded from her mother’s account, “I mean… you stole that joke, you a******. People have been posting that joke for hours, you hack. Look, please do a better job running this company. It used to mean something. This is KG btw”.
How is the Twitterati responding?
Despite some trolls, Griffin’s move has mostly drawn admiration from users on the platform. #FreeKathy is now trending on Twitter, with several users expressing their own thoughts on the matter.
#FreeKathy I think Kathy is a lousy comedian but saying “comedy is now legal” yet suspending someone because their harmless joke hurt your feelings. It ain’t like she was being racist or saying other bigot stuff. Not groovy, man. pic.twitter.com/Mre6ThsgjI
— 🔞Kï††¥ ßlåq- B1 🏳️⚧️ 🏳️🌈 🧛🏿♀️🎃👻💀 (@kitty_blaq94) November 7, 2022