Billionaire Elon Musk on Sunday said that Twitter users engaging in impersonation without specifying that they are running a parody account will be permanently suspended without warning.
“Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning,” Musk, who took over ownership of Twitter on October 28, said. “This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue.”
Twitter Blue is a monthly subscription that offers users certain premium features on the social media platform. The feature is currently available in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Musk on Sunday that if Twitter users make any changes to their profile name, it will lead to the temporary loss of the verified check mark.
Musk made the announcement a day after a Twitter account that parodied him was suspended from the platform, according to the Hindustan Times. The account, which had a blue tick, belonged to American-Australian Hindi professor Ian Woolford.
The account had been posting several tweets in Hindi and Bhojpuri, including a post with a line from the Bhojpuri song “Lollipop Lagelu”.
On Saturday, Twitter updated its app on technology company Apple’s App Store to begin charging $8, or about Rs 662 a month for a blue tick beside their account name indicating that their profile is verified, according to Reuters.
The blue tick feature, which was earlier free, was reserved for those accounts that were prone to be impersonated such as of celebrities, politicians and journalists. was introduced in 2009 after the social media platform faced a lawsuit, accusing it of not doing enough to prevent imposter accounts.
Musk had, however, criticised the verification method as a “lords and peasants system”.
The Tesla chief said on November 1 that users who would pay for the blue tick would get some advantages over others, including priority in replies, mentions and searches that is “essential to defeat spam/scam”, ability to post long videos as well as audios. They would also see half as many ads.
“There will be a secondary tag below the name for someone who is a public figure, which is already the case for politicians,” Musk said. He added that the decision will give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators.
Musk had earlier said that he wants to reduce Twitter’s reliance on advertising.