Senator Edward Markey and Musk exchange barbs over the impersonation scandal


A powerful senator threatened on Sunday to crack down on Elon Musk’s companies after the billionaire criticized him on Twitter, explaining how Democrats can deal with the billionaire now that they retain control of the House of Congress.

“One of your companies is under [a Federal Trade Commission] Decree of Consent,” Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) Tweet at Musk, referring to the new acquisition of mogul. “NHTSA is investigating another case of killing people. You spend your time fighting online battles. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”

Marky was responding to your mask Tweet the legislator The senator’s novel “looks like a parody.”

The spat began after a Washington Post columnist wrote Friday that he impersonated Marky, with his permission, to show how easy it is to get a blue checkmark under Twitter’s new verification system. “Within a few minutes,” Jeffrey Fowler wrote, “I got a blue checkmark for impersonating the legislator.”

Then Markey wrote a letter to Musk criticizing the new policy.

“Preventive measures such as the Twitter blue check mark have allowed users to be savvy and critical consumers of news and information in the global town square on Twitter,” he said. “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 accelerated Twitter’s descent into the social media wild west.”

Markey said he would like a response explaining the process by November 25.

On Twitter, he Wrote“I demand answers from Elon Musk, who puts profits on people and debts rather than stopping misinformation.”

In response to the impersonation case, musk Wrote , “Maybe because your real account looks like a parody?”

The fake Markey account has since been deleted.

A Twitter spokesperson and a spokeswoman for Markie did not respond to a request for comment.

Markey’s response gave new prominence on Capitol Hill to the issue of Musk’s ownership on Twitter. A number of congressional committees can decide to investigate Musk and ask him to testify, as they have done with other technology executives. Among them is the Senate Commerce Committee, on which Markey sits.

Markey has in the past also called for more scrutiny of Tesla, including when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said earlier this year that Tesla cars were in nearly 70 percent of accidents involving advanced driver assistance systems. in the last period.

The Twitter spat comes just days after Musk called on independent voters to support Republicans in the midterm elections, a request that did not appear to have swayed in the right direction, as Republicans underperformed in several races.

To independent-minded electors: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of both parties, so I recommend voting for a Republican Congress, since the presidency is a Democrat. Wrote.

The news is the latest controversy to erupt since Musk took over Twitter last month, which has bought into a slew of dismissals and resignations. Legal experts have also raised questions about whether Musk violated the Federal Trade Commission’s approval decree with his actions.

Musk is due to go to court to file a lawsuit over Tesla’s 2018 salary package, which at the time was worth $56 billion.

Tony Romm contributed to this report.

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