Elon Musk says Twitter rules will 'evolve' as he talks up new features

Elon Musk continues his fast-paced and controversial transformation of Twitter since taking it over.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty/NurPhoto

The drama around Elon Musk's acquisition of social media giant Twitter continues, with Musk tweeting that henceforth any Twitter accounts that impersonate someone without being labelled as a parody will be permanently suspended

"Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying "parody" will be permanently suspended," Musk tweeted. "Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning. This will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue."

Also: Little blue check mark? No, what the web needs is autonomy

Via The Guardian, over the weekend comedians had started pranking Musk by changing their handle's name to Elon Musk or something close to it. 

US comedian Kathy Griffin, who had two million followers and a Twitter blue tick, earned a suspension after changing her name to Elon Musk. Musk later tweeted that Griffin "can have it back", followed by another tweet: "for $8".   

Musk also said that any name change at all will cause temporary loss of verified checkmark for a user.

Today he tweeted: "Twitter rules will evolve over time" while linking to Twitter's current rules.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that Twitter will delay its paid-for Twitter Blue subscription until after the US mid-term election. Some Twitter users and employees raised concerns that users could create verified accounts for politicians or news sites and could abuse it to sow discord.   

Musk wrote: "Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That's our mission." Asked by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, "accurate to who", Musk suggested Birdwatch, Twitter's feature that lets users report misinformation.  

But after a verified digital media manager with 2,000 followers criticised Musk's comment in light of the paid-for Twitter blue tick, Musk replied: "You represent the problem: journalists who think they are the only source of legitimate information. That's the big lie." 

Musk over the weekend also promised to allow Twitter users to attach long-form text to tweets. Users often post screenshots of text to get around the block on long-form text. 

He also said that search within Twitter "will also get a lot better pronto".

After last Friday firing 3,700 Twitter workers, about half of its workforce, the company has asked dozens of of them to return, with some apparently laid off by mistake, according to Bloomberg's sources. Remaining software engineers and developers are reportedly racing to roll out features ordered by Musk.

Musk wants to revive Vine, the short-form video service Twitter shuttered in 2016. Over the weekend, he noted that he wants to launch "creator monetization for all forms of content". Via The Guardian, Musk chatted with several YouTubers and claimed Twitter could "beat" the 55% share of ad revenue that YouTube gives its top entertainers.  

But several major advertisers have temporarily suspended advertising on Twitter since Musk took over the company. Among companies that have reportedly paused advertising on Twitter are General Motors, General Mills, Pfizer, Audi, and Volkswagen.  

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