Senator Ed Markey responds to Elon Musk after answering questions about impersonation

Elon Musk’s Twitter profile appears on a smartphone placed on the Twitter logos printed in this illustration taken on April 28, 2022.

given by ruvich | Reuters

Senator Ed Markey criticized Twitter owner Elon Musk on Sunday for responding to Markey’s request for answers about the platform’s new verification and impersonation policies.

After a Washington Post reporter successfully created a verified fake account pretending to be a Massachusetts Democrat, Markey shared Message to Musk on Twitter Friday asks him to “explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again.”

In response, Musk wrote back to Markey at a Sunday Tweet He said, “Maybe because your real account looks like a parody?”

Markey didn’t seem to appreciate Musk’s response.

Markey wrote in a letter: “One of your companies is subject to an FTC approval decree. The NHTSA is investigating another case for killing people. You spend your time fighting online battles. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.” Sunday Tweet.

Twitter appears to have paused the $7.99-per-month Twitter Blue Verification Program shortly after the post conducted its testing as celebrity and brand impersonations sprouted across the platform.

But before the pause, The Post managed to create a Twitter account called “realEdMarkey” with “a spare iPhone, a credit card, and a little creativity.” The account received a verified blue check mark, even though Markey already has two legitimate verified accounts.

The blue check is supposed to be a feature of paid Twitter Blue, but the Post reporter found that Twitter said the fake Markey account was verified “because it is prominent in government, news, entertainment, or some other specific category.”

Twitter recently lost key privacy and content management executives.

“Preventive measures like Twitter’s blue check mark have allowed users to be savvy and critical consumers of news and information in Twitter’s global city square,” Markey He wrote in his letter to Musk. “But your takeover of Twitter, the swift and haphazard enforcement of platform changes, the removal of safeguards against disinformation, and the firing of large numbers of Twitter employees has precipitated Twitter’s descent into the social media wild west.”

Markey asked Musk to respond to his questions in writing by November 25.

The exchange between Musk and Markey on Twitter isn’t the first time the duo have competed head-on.

Musk is also the CEO of the automaker Tesla, and Tesla-branded driver assistance systems Autopilot and Full Self Driving in the United States during a series of Tesla accidents in August 2021, Markey and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) expressed “serious concerns” about the way the company advertises those techniques. They asked the Federal Trade Commission to conduct an investigation.

The senators also called on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in June to take “rigorous investigative and enforcement action on vehicles with automated driving systems (ADS) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)” after the administration released data showing more than 500 crashes in vehicles with these technologies.

CNBC’s Lauren Viner and Laura Kolodny contributed to this report.

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