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Elon Musk Hates Free Speech, Comedy

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | November 7, 2022 |

By Dustin Rowles | Social Media | November 7, 2022 |


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I’d been using Twitter significantly less over the last year or two, mostly because it had fallen into a predictable rut. Whenever there is a mass shooting, Twitter will go through the same cycle: Make a lot of assumptions before they know anything, try and find out who the shooter is as quickly as possible so that the shooter can be labeled as Democrat or Republican, amplify Tweets that support your politics, express thoughts and prayers, express outrage at thoughts and prayers, vow to do something this time, give up because nothing ever changes. Twitter had found a similar cycle for every situation, from a canceled celebrity to a celebrity who passed away to the Scorsese/Marvel debate.

Then Elon took over Twitter, and now Twitter is fun again! Granted, it’s mostly because everyone has united in mocking Elon. Every third Tweet on my timeline now is a joke at Elon’s expense, and you’d think I’d get tired of it. I don’t. He is a joke. He’s turned Twitter into a joke, and soon enough, Tesla and SpaceX are going to be jokes, too.

In the meantime, ahead of the Twitter Blue verification rollout (which Musk had enough sense to postpone to Wednesday after the midterms), a lot of folks with blue check marks on Twitter started changing their names and avatars to that of Musk. Valerie Bertinelli began impersonating Musk to push Democratic candidates. Chris Kluwe tweeted this:
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The point is, if there is no “verification” system in place and all you have to do is pay $8 a month to “get verified,” then there is nothing to stop others from doing what the Blue checks system was put in place to do: Prevent scammers from impersonating celebrities, public officials, etc. Also, impersonating Elon is also funny, which is allowed now that Elon Musk has made comedy on Twitter legal again.

A number of folks have since had their accounts suspended or disrupted for impersonating Musk, including Kluwe, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, YouTuber Ethan Klein, and Mad Men’s Rich Sommer. However, if you clearly specify that it’s a parody account, making fun of Musk is still allowed.

Twitter executives, meanwhile, spent much of the weekend trying to call back employees that Musk had fired after realizing that those employees were too essential to be fired. Oops. He’s taken his approach to Twitter in a new direction, too.