Twitter Reverses Suspension of Crypto Boss Stani Kulechov After ‘Joke’ Tweet
After tweets to the masses in which he falsely claimed to have been named Twitter’s interim CEO, crypto executive Stani Kulechov found his account suspended.
After tweets to the masses in which he falsely claimed to have been named Twitter's interim CEO, crypto executive Stani Kulechov found his account suspended by the social media giant. But less than 24 hours later, Twitter reversed its suspension and he's back to talking about his faux appointment.
Kulechov, the chief executive of the decentralized finance platform Aave, tweeted on April 26 that he would be joining Twitter as interim CEO. The next day, he thanked Elon Musk for the opportunity and laid out a 90-day roadmap for the world's richest man to follow as he orchestrates a $44 billion takeover of the company.
The suggestions included adding an edit button for posting tweets, open sourcing Twitter's algorithms, adding support for Ethereum and wallet address provider Ethereum Name Service, and integrating the platform with Aave's newest project -- a decentralized social media network dubbed Lens Protocol.
It was only after this tweet that Kulechov realized that Twitter had frozen his account.
“The reason cited in the suspension email was due to a ‘misleading and deceptive identities policy',” a representative for Kulechov said in a statement to Bloomberg on Thursday. “It was clearly a joke. Obviously, there's a Twitter CEO, and no indication that he was stepping down or being replaced.”
Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, remains in place after being appointed in November when the company's founder, Jack Dorsey, stepped down.
Twitter's press department did not respond to several emails seeking comment. Its user guidelines note that account holders may not “impersonate individuals, groups or organizations to mislead, confuse or deceive others, nor use a fake identity in a manner that disrupts the experience of others on Twitter.”
Over a video call with Bloomberg on Wednesday, before his account was suspended, Kulechov said his post about taking the job is a “question about free speech and what can you do better in Twitter and what kind of things you can actually say and what you believe.” At the time, he laughed off questions as to whether the post was genuine.
Concerns over what free speech and privacy will look like on the platform under Musk's control have abounded as the Tesla Inc. CEO tweeted jokes about taking over other companies, including McDonald's Corp. and Coca-Cola Co.
The serial entrepreneur has frequently spoken about the importance of free speech on Twitter. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” he said in a statement Monday when he announced his acquisition of the company.
“The digital town hall should be owned by the public as well, not just hosted by a centralized force that could close its doors to people of their choosing,” Kulechov's team said Thursday. The suspension of his account is the type of action that led him to develop Lens Protocol, they added.
Lens Protocol will be similar to mainstream social media networks in that participants will be able to create profiles, follow each other and publish content, but diverges in that it will be managed by its community of users rather than a tech company. It is being built on top of the Polygon blockchain and is still in a testing phase.
Other Blockchain-based decentralized social media projects in the works include Bluesky, which is backed by Twitter.
Kulechov's Aave, which allows traders to earn interest by borrowing and lending cryptocurrencies, has almost $12 billion in total value locked on its protocol, according to data from DeFi Llama. Its eponymous crypto token, was little changed at around $165 on Thursday, according to pricing data on CoinMarketCap.