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Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators



Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

Elon Musk announced Sunday that any Twitter account impersonating another would be permanently suspended.

Twitter issued the warning after some minor celebrities changed their Twitter display names and pretended to tweet as ‘Elon Musk’ in response to the decision to offer verified blue check accounts for $8 per month while terminating a large portion of the workforce.

“Any Twitter handles engaging in impersonating another person without clearly mentioning “parody” will be permanently suspended going forward,” Musk posted.

Twitter offered warnings before suspensions. Now that “blue check verification” is being implemented on the platform, “there will be no warning.”

Unter Twitter’s new guidelines, “any name change at all” would necessitate the temporary loss of a confirmed checkmark.

Kathy Griffin’s account was terminated on Sunday after she changed her screen name to Musk. She admitted to Bloomberg News that she had also used his profile photo.

“I suppose not all of the content moderators were fired?” “Lol,” Griffin laughed later on Mastodon, an alternative social media network where she had created an account.

Actress Valerie Bertinelli similarly used Musk’s screen name, tweeting in support of Democratic candidates on Saturday before reverting to her real identity. “Okey-dokey. “I had a good time, and I hope I made my point,” she tweeted.

Valerie Bertinelli noted the original purpose of the blue check before the prank was given away for free to those whose identities Twitter workers confirmed, with journalists making up a large share of the receivers.

“It just meant that your identification has been validated.” Scammers would have a more difficult time imitating you,” Bertinelli observed.

“That is no longer true. “Best of luck out there!” She continued.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

Musk believes that the $8 verified accounts are his approach to democratizing the service. Users of Twitter who sign up for the new “Twitter Blue with verification” can obtain the blue check next to their names “exactly like the celebrities, companies, and politicians you currently follow,” according to a Twitter update for iOS devices featured on Apple’s app store on Saturday.

It stated that the new service would be available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. As of Sunday, it was unavailable, and no timetable was provided.

Esther Crawford, a Twitter employee, told The Associated Press that it will be available “soon but not yet.”

On Sunday, Twitter did not respond to an email requesting comment on the verified accounts issue and Griffin’s suspension.

Musk later tweeted, “Twitter must become the most accurate global information source.” That is our goal.”

If the firm removes blue checks from current verified users — which has not happened — this might encourage disinformation on the platform during Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Following layoffs on Friday that affected roughly half of Twitter’s 7,500-employee workforce, some Twitter users, like Kathy Griffin, have already begun migrating away from the platform.

They say they are concerned that moderation and verification will result in a free-for-all of disinformation on the internet’s primary channel for accurate communications from government agencies and other institutions.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

Many businesses have delayed advertising on the platform for fear of being subject to cancellation by the cancel culture that previously lived on Twitter.

In a Friday message, Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of safety and integrity, attempted to allay such fears. He claimed that the employment reduction had the least impact on the company’s front-line content moderation team.

Musk said late Friday that there was no choice but to slash positions “when the firm is losing over $4 million per day.” He did not share specifics on Twitter’s daily losses, but he did say that employees who were let go were given three months’ pay as severance.

Now that Elon Musk controls Twitter Inc., a small but rising number of celebrities, actresses, and artists are leaving the social media platform, citing concerns about what it could become under Mr. Musk’s leadership.

These people say they can’t wait to see what improvements Mr. Musk brings. Of course, it remains to be seen whether these celebs will keep their promises to stay away from the platform, which has over 237 million members.

In a series of tweets this month, Mr. Musk stated that people who have been booted from Twitter for breaking the rules would not be let back until the firm has a clear process. He estimated that it would take at least a few weeks to implement.

Here is a WSJ list of some well-known people who have stated their intention to leave Twitter:

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban Impersonators

Sara Bareilles

The 42-year-old singer, known for hits such as “Brave” and “King of Anything,” announced on Twitter that she would see fans on other platforms.

“Welp. Twitter has been entertaining. “I’m out,” she tweeted, adding, “This one’s just not for me.”

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsToni Braxton

“I’m startled and dismayed at some of the ‘free speech I’ve witnessed on this platform since its acquisition,” said Ms. Braxton, a 55-year-old R&B performer best known for her song “Un-Break My Heart.”

“I am opting to stay off Twitter because it is no longer a safe platform for myself, my sons, and other POC,” she wrote on Twitter, referring to people of colour.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsGigi Hadid

The 27-year-old model stated that she had cancelled her account, which had over 10.4 million followers. She stated that she did not believe Twitter was a secure environment for anyone.

“For a long time, but especially under its new leadership, it’s become a sewer of hate and prejudice,” she wrote in an Instagram message.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsTéa Leoni

The actress, 56, is best known for her role in the CBS sitcom “Madam Secretary,” as well as other films and television shows.

“I’m leaving Twitter today—see, let’s where we are when the dust settles,” she tweeted. “Today’s dust has uncovered much too much hatred.”

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsBrian Koppelman

Mr. Koppelman, the showrunner of “Billions,” said his followers could find him on Instagram and TikTok in the days before Mr. Musk concluded his deal with Twitter.

Mr. Koppelman, 56, remarked on Twitter, “Gonna truly attempt to take a breather from here for a minute or a month come deal closure time.”

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsKen Olin

“Hey everyone—I’m out of here,” the 68-year-old actor and producer of shows such as “This Is Us” tweeted. “Let us maintain our faith. Let us defend our democracy.”

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsShonda Rhimes

“Not hanging around for whatever Elon has planned,” the 52-year-old showrunner and producer behind successful shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” posted on Twitter. Bye.”

Here are some notable persons that have stated that they are considering leaving Twitter:

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsJosh Gad

The 41-year-old actor, best known for his role as Olaf in “Frozen” films, said he was thinking about staying on Twitter but wasn’t sure.

“Hate speech intended to inspire harm (with no consequences),” he said on the platform.

Since then, he has frequently tweeted.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsJohn Green

The 45-year-old novelist and YouTube sensation has joked that he wants to stop using Twitter but hasn’t been able to.

“Some of you may be wondering why I’m still on Twitter,” he wrote. “It’s because I follow a strict code of etiquette known as ‘The Brexit,’ which requires me to publicize my departure for at least a year before I leave.”

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsStephen King

The 75-year-old prolific author finds himself at the centre of Mr. Musk’s fight over charging a monthly fee for verified users.

“If that is implemented, I’m gone like Enron,” he tweeted. Mr. Musk said that his company needed to pay its expenses somehow. Mr. Musk later said that Twitter would implement the fee. Mr. King has remained active on Twitter since then.

Elon Musk Announces Twitter Will Ban ImpersonatorsWhoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg announced her departure from the app on Monday’s episode of “The View” while defining Musk’s first week at the company as “a catastrophe.”

“I’m leaving today because I just feel like it’s so messed up, and I’m weary of having certain sorts of attitudes blocked now that I’m back on.” So I’m going to go, and if things calm down sufficiently and I feel more at ease, I might return. But I’m done with Twitter as of tonight.”

Source: AP, VOR News


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China Plans To Send San Diego Zoo More Pandas This Year, Reintroducing Panda Diplomacy




SAN DIEGO — China is to send a new pair of giant pandas to the San Diego Zoo, renewing its traditional gesture of friendship with the United States after nearly all of the famed bears on loan to U.U.S.oos were returned as relations between the two countries worsened.

San Diego Zoo officials told The Associated Press that if all licences and other criteria are fulfilled, two male and female bears should arrive by the end of the summer, about five years after the zoo’s last pandas were transferred back to China.

“We’re very excited and hopeful,” said Megan Owen, VP of Wildlife Conservation Science at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “They’ve expressed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to re-initiate panda cooperation starting with the San Diego Zoo.”


China Plans To Send San Diego Zoo More Pandas This Year, Reintroducing Panda Diplomacy

The China Wildlife Conservation Association announced Thursday that it has signed cooperation agreements with zoos in Madrid, Washington, D.D.C., and Vienna.

According to the organisation, the relationship will encompass illness prevention and habitat protection research, as well as contributions to the creation of China’s national panda park.

“We look forward to further expanding the research outcomes on the conservation of endangered species such as giant pandas, as well as promoting mutual understanding and friendship among peoples through the new round of international cooperation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated in Beijing.

Fears over the future of so-called panda diplomacy grew last year when the zoos in Washington, D.C., and Memphis, Tennessee, sent their pandas to China, leaving only four pandas in the United States, all at the Atlanta Zoo. That financing agreement will expire later this year.

However, in November, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed hope that his country will resume sending pandas to the United States after he and President Joe Biden met in Northern California for their first face-to-face encounter in a year and agreed to work to ease tensions.

According to Owen, a panda behaviour expert who has worked in San Diego and China, China is considering a pair that includes a female descendant of Bai Yun and Gao Gao, two of the zoo’s past residents.

Bai Yun was born in captivity in China and spent more than 20 years at the zoo, where she gave birth to six cubs. She and her son were the last pandas at the zoo, and they returned to China in 2019.

Gao Gao was born in the wild in China and resided at the San Diego Zoo from 2003 to 2018 before being returned.

Decades of wild conservation efforts and captive research spared the giant panda species from extinction, boosting its number from less than 1,000 to more than 1,800 in the wild and captivity.


China Plans To Send San Diego Zoo More Pandas This Year, Reintroducing Panda Diplomacy

The black-and-white bears have long been associated with the relationship between the United States and China, dating back to 1972, when Beijing donated a pair of pandas to the National Zoo in Washington, D.D.C., ahead of normalising diplomatic relations. China later lent pandas to zoos to assist in breeding cubs and increasing the population.

According to 2022 research by America’s Congressional Research Service, zoos normally pay a $1 million fee yearly for two pandas, with the money going towards China’s conservation efforts.

According to China’s official Xinhua News Agency, the United States, Spain, and Austria were among the first countries to collaborate with China on panda conservation, with 28 pandas born in those countries.

Demands for the return of giant pandas, dubbed China’s “national treasure,” surged among the Chinese public as unverified reports of mistreatment by USU.S.oos inundated Chinese social media.

Many loan agreements were for ten years and were frequently extended much longer. However, last year’s attempts to prolong the agreements or send more pandas failed. China observers claimed that Beijing was progressively withdrawing its pandas from Western countries due to poor diplomatic relations with the United States and other nations.

Then, on November 15, 2023, a week after the National Zoo’s pandas left for China, Xi spoke at a dinner with American business executives in downtown San Francisco, hinting that more pandas would be sent. He stated that the San Diego Zoo and the people of California are “very much looking forward to welcoming pandas back.”

“I was told that many American people, especially children, were really reluctant to say goodbye to the pandas and went to the zoo to see them off,” he said.

Even after it no longer housed pandas, the San Diego Zoo continued collaborating with Chinese colleagues.


China Plans To Send San Diego Zoo More Pandas This Year, Reintroducing Panda Diplomacy

According to Owen, China is particularly interested in exchanging information about the zoo’s successful captive panda breeding programme. Giant pandas are difficult to reproduce, partly because the female’s reproductive window is extremely limited, lasting only 48 to 72 hours per year.

Bai Yun’s first child, Hua Mei, was also the first panda born through artificial insemination to live to adulthood outside of China, and she went on to have 12 cubs on her own after being sent to China.

Meanwhile, Bai Yun stayed at the zoo and gave birth to two more girls and three males. Researchers followed her in her den using webcams, providing a better understanding of maternal care behaviour, according to Owen.

“We have a lot of institutional knowledge and capacity from our last cooperative agreement, which we will be able to parlay into this next chapter, as well as training the next generation of panda conservationists,” she said.

Owen said Chinese experts would accompany the bears to San Diego for several months.

She stated that the bears’ return benefits San Diego and the giant panda’s recovery as a species.

“We do talk about panda diplomacy all the time,” Owen said. “Diplomacy is an essential component of conservation in a variety of circumstances…. If we can’t learn to collaborate in often tough conditions or situations beyond the control of conservationists, we won’t succeed.”


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Sean Hannity And Right-Wing Media Claimed The ‘Biden Crime Family’ Took Millions In Bribes. Their Narrative Just Fell Apart




“The Biden crime family.”

It has long been a strong storyline in right-wing media and the GOP, used to demonise President Joe Biden – but it crumbled spectacularly on Thursday.

For a long time, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media have accused Biden and his son Hunter of running an illegal $10 million bribery conspiracy to enrich themselves and sell out America. According to the tale, a representative of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma paid for access to then-Vice President Biden in order to improperly use his influence and aid in thwarting a Ukrainian prosecutor’s investigation into the business.

The evidence of the bribery plan has always been poor, with most credible news sites dismissing the charges. However, MAGA media figures such as Sean Hannity went into overdrive last year when a reportedly “highly credible” FBI informant claimed to have smoking gun evidence of the conspiracy.


Sean Hannity And Right-Wing Media Claimed The ‘Biden Crime Family’ Took Millions In Bribes. Their Narrative Just Fell Apart

The revelation of a secret FBI informant swept through right-wing media, with talking heads and sites portraying the claims as overwhelming evidence of criminal activity. It spawned scores of articles. Hundreds of FOX News segments. Republican lawmakers like James Comer and Jim Jordan, anxious for media attention, came on radio and television shows to fuel conspiracy theories and demand probes.

Hannity’s programme was the major vehicle for delivering the message to the GOP base. According to data from the progressive group Media Matters, the accusations were the basis for a startling 85 segments on his Fox News show in 2023. Hannity told his millions of weekly viewers that Biden had been “compromised,” citing informant reports to proclaim the president “very credibly accused of public corruption on a scale this country has never seen before.”


Sean Hannity And Right-Wing Media Claimed The ‘Biden Crime Family’ Took Millions In Bribes. Their Narrative Just Fell Apart

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Comer, who chairs the powerful House Oversight Committee, exploited the charges made in right-wing media to accuse the FBI of a cover-up and attempted to build a corruption case against Biden. Right-wing media then praised these activities. And the feedback circle continued.

What’s the problem? Alexander Smirnov, the informant, cooked up the entire tale, federal investigators alleged Thursday, detaining the 43-year-old at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas.

Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney, special counsel David Weiss, charged Smirnov with fabricating documents and lying to the FBI. According to the accusation, Smirnov gave “false derogatory information” about Biden to the law enforcement agency. His “story to the FBI was a fabrication, an amalgam of otherwise unremarkable business meetings,” according to the report.

“In short, the Defendant transformed his routine and unextraordinary business contacts with Burisma in 2017 and later into bribery allegations against [Joe Biden], the presumptive nominee of one of the two major political parties for President,Hannity after expressing bias against [Joe Biden] and his candidature,” according to the indictment.

The charges delivered a setback to the narrative that Fox News had promoted on the air and that Republicans had pressed in Congress. However, the same network that had publicised Smirnov’s charges against “the big guy,” implying that they formed the basis of a huge scandal that would eclipse Watergate in history, now showed little interest in the story.


Sean Hannity And Right-Wing Media Claimed The ‘Biden Crime Family’ Took Millions In Bribes. Their Narrative Just Fell Apart

Fox News provided very little coverage of the Weiss indictment in the hours following its announcement. Most importantly, Hannity should have attempted to inform his devoted audience that the story he had been relentlessly promoting to them had crumbled. Instead, he ignored the report, as did the rest of the right-wing network’s dishonest prime-time talk show hosts.

The spectacular downfall of the assertion is simply the most recent example of a bigger pattern from Fox News and the right-wing media ecosystem in which it works.
MAGA Media figures have repeatedly pushed false narratives and conspiracy theories to their large audiences, only to look the other way when they fall. Just last year, Fox News paid a record $787.5 million to promote electoral misinformation. It never ran a retraction on air, and executives have stated that they are happy with the network’s 2020 coverage.

It’s a record that’s played repeatedly. By the time the truth catches up with the fraudulent charges pushed by right-wing media, the narrative has already been established, and the outlets have moved on to the next alleged scandal.


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Yulia Navalnaya Once Avoided The Limelight. Now She’s Russia’s Newest Opposition Leader




LONDON — Yulia Navalnaya used to avoid the spotlight, remaining in the background as her husband, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, rose to become President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest adversary.

However, following his death in prison last week, she took on a podium generally designated for prominent leaders in Munich and declared that Putin and his friends would be held accountable for his killing. Later, she earnestly pledged, “I will continue Alexei Navalny’s work.”

It was a bold declaration from a woman who once told the Russian issue of Harper’s Bazaar that her “key task” was caring for the couple’s children and home.

Yulia Navalnaya’s new duty will be to guide the Russian opposition through one of its history’s darkest and most chaotic periods.


Yulia Navalnaya Once Avoided The Limelight. Now She’s Russia’s Newest Opposition Leader

Navalny’s death dealt a significant blow to the opposition, which is already fragmented. The question is whether Navalnaya can gather her husband’s troops and work with other opposition parties to launch a successful challenge to Putin, who is poised to serve another six years in the Kremlin following the March presidential election.

Putin has stepped up his crackdown on free speech and dissent in Russia, imprisoning opponents and critics alike.

Navalnaya has previously confronted Putin. She and Navalny had been married for over 20 years, and she stood by his side while he helped lead the largest rallies in Russia since the Soviet Union’s demise and during subsequent jail stints.

She has accused Putin of murdering her husband, a claim that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described as “unfounded” and “insolent.”

The risk to Navalny’s life had been “discussed extensively” with his wife and close team before his 2021 return to Russia from Germany, where he received treatment for nerve agent poisoning, according to Vladimir Ashurkov, a longtime friend of the Navalnys and co-founder of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation.

Nonetheless, “it was a big decision” for Navalnaya to continue her husband’s profession, he explained.

In their marriage, she was “the rock” on which Navalny relied. Ashurkov stated that they “had an understanding” that Navalnaya would refrain from political activity and keep out of the spotlight.

Analysts believe Navalny returned to Russia from Germany because he realised he would struggle to be seen as a legitimate opposition leader abroad.

His widow is unlikely to travel to Russia due to security concerns, and she now has a similar difficulty in determining how to run her husband’s organisation from exile.

On Friday, immediately after Navalny’s death was announced, she met Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader.


Yulia Navalnaya Once Avoided The Limelight. Now She’s Russia’s Newest Opposition Leader

Tsikhanouskaya took over the political baton from her husband, Belarusian opposition leader Syarhei Tsikhanouski, who was imprisoned before Belarus’ presidential election 2020.

She launched a successful campaign but fled Belarus after long-term President Alexander Lukashenko declared himself the victor of an election generally seen as fraudulent in the West.

“We understood each other without any words,” Tsikhanouskaya said of Navalnaya. Tsikhanouskaya stated that she had no idea about her husband’s condition or if he was dead or alive.

“It’s so difficult when you’re in so much pain, but you have to… give interviews to encourage the democratic world to take decisive action,” Tsikhanouskaya told the Associated Press.

Tsikhanouskaya, who has been operating from overseas for nearly four years, described living in political exile as tough. It is “very important not to lose connection with the people inside the country,” she said.

That won’t be easy, particularly in Russia, where most people still obtain news from Kremlin-controlled official media.

Despite being Russia’s most recognised opposition leader — charming and cracking jokes even while serving a 19-year prison sentence — Navalny was rarely shown on state television, and his death was barely briefly mentioned.

The Kremlin is expected to take the same tactic with Navalnaya, essentially isolating her from the Russian people through a state-sponsored information blockade.

Since Putin invaded Ukraine, the space for criticism in Russia has shrunk even more. Russian authorities have increased speech restrictions and imprisoned opponents, many of whom are ordinary citizens, frequently for decades. Hundreds of people who lay flowers in Navalny’s memory have been imprisoned, and convincing Russians to take a collective public stand against Putin will be nearly difficult.

While Navalnaya has dominated headlines since her husband’s death, Graeme Robertson, a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of a book about Putin and contemporary Russian politics, believes her challenge will be “to stay relevant” when interest fades.

Robertson proposed that she could accomplish this by supporting Navalny’s volunteers and political networks in Russia, keeping them “underground but alive,” and deciding on a short-term aim.

When Navalnaya walked into a meeting of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday, she lost little time explaining what that objective — and her leadership of Navalny’s organisation — would look like.

Sitting next to the EU’s foreign policy chief, she urged Western leaders not to recognise the results of March’s presidential election, to sanction more members of Putin’s entourage, and to do more to assist Russians who have fled abroad.


Yulia Navalnaya Once Avoided The Limelight. Now She’s Russia’s Newest Opposition Leader

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has made headlines in Western and independent Russian media recently with sleek movies that converted ordinarily uninteresting corruption probes into online blockbusters.

However, the organisation needed to gain widespread support from the Russian populace, to effect political change, or to develop a governance model.

Tsikhanouskaya, widely regarded as Belarus’ democratic leader, stated that she prioritised the development of democratic institutions and the representation of Belarusians within Belarus.

This includes a transitional cabinet and platforms where “all the parties, all the forces are represented,” she stated, seemingly pushing Navalnaya to follow suit.

Ashurkov stated that Navalnaya could be the person to bring together Russia’s opposition, which is notorious for its “disagreements and squabbles.”

“She has a very high reputation,” he remarked.

The duties ahead of her are formidable, and she will face them while grieving for her husband and battling for his body’s return.

“By killing Alexei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul,” she went on to say. “But I still have the other half, and it tells me that I have no right to give up.”


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