Chipzel, one of the most well-known chiptune artists (and video game composers) on the planet, is among a number of high profile users who have had their Twitter account suspended after seemingly breaking, but also not breaking, some new rules.
Musk, who bought the social media platform despite not knowing what to do with it, how to run it or being able to afford it, began his tenure last month by celebrating the return of free speech, quickly reminding anyone that the people championing “free speech” the loudest are rarely interested in any such thing.
One of the big reasons his brief reign has proven so unpopular—along with mass (possibly illegal) firings, uncertainty over paid membership costs and just general Divorced Guy ramblings—has been his promised removal of Twitter’s verification process, which grants public figures (and those working in lines of work rife with impersonation, like journalism) a little blue tick next to their names. It’s a tiny little thing designed to simply let the masses know you are actually the person you’re claiming to be, but for brainworm reasons Free Speech and MAGA weirdos have spent years obsessing over them, elevating an administrative feature into something they fear is a digital cast system.
As such, one of Musk’s first orders of business as Twitter owner was to float the idea of replacing the current verification process—one where Twitter manually verifies with your people/company that you’re actually you—with…a system where can pay $8 for a blue tick.
Because this is such an astoundingly stupid (and dangerous!) idea, many verified users have been spending the last few days changing their usernames and profile pics to the same ones used by Musk himself, in clear and obvious examples of what’s going to a global scale should the verification process be overhauled in this way.
Musk, wildly in over his head and having spent the last few days flailing around like a substitute teacher who has lost the classsought to cut this practice—simply a taste of what’s to come!—out earlier today when he said “Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended”.
Popular Australian website The Chaserrun by political comedians and writers, appeared to be one of the first victims of this new rule, their account being locked down after changing their name to resemble Musk’s, despite clearly following this new rule and marking their account as parody (they also didn’t ‘t even change their name to ‘Elon Musk’, they changed it to ‘Elom Musk’).
Their account has however since been restored, with the new name ‘Elon Musk Fondles Dogs’:
They’re not alone. Chipzel, who is not only a huge chiptune artist but has also done the soundtracks for games like Super Hexagon and Dicey Dungeonsfound her own account suspended todayhaving earlier changed her name to ‘ 🌈elon musk “parody”’, which again does not violate the rule as Musk himself stated it.
What both do appear to violate is a different rule he hastily introduced straight afterwards, which incredibly seeks to stop verifying users from changing their display name (Tweets will always display two names, a display name you can edit and your actual Twitter username, which you cannot). In a follow-up Tweet, he says “Any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark”, which given the frequency with which people do this—for everything from sports events to Halloween to the holiday season—is incredibly funny:
That’s a pretty heavy-handed rule just to try and stop people making fun of you on the internet! Former NFL punter (and Kotaku commenter) Chris Kluwe is another verified user who has been suspendedhaving also changed his profile pic and display name to match Musk’s (along with tweeting some mean things about Tesla cars).
If only Twitter had some kind of existing verification process that could easily sort out which accounts were real and which were fake. Ah well!
It’s weird that all these accounts were fully locked down, instead of just temporarily losing their verification like he clearly stated, but with half of Twitter’s staff fired and the other half burned to a crisp I guess mix-ups, hastily-implemented policy decisions, not knowing which hare-brained idea you got suspended for and billionaires wailing”I’m not owned! I’m not owned!!” are going to be the norm for the foreseeable future.
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