Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey fined Elon Musk on Sunday after the billionaire gave a scathing response to lawmakers’ request for information about Twitter’s new verification policies. “Maybe it’s because your real account sounds like a parody?” Musky tweeted Sunday morning after Markey recently shared a letter criticizing the company’s new $8-per-month Twitter Blue subscription. “And why does your PP have a mask!?” Musk added a few hours laterwhich refers to Markey’s profile picture showing the senator with a face covering.
One of your businesses is subject to an FTC Consent Order. Auto safety guard NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you spend your time fighting battles online. Fix your businesses. Or Congress will. https://t.co/lE178gPRoM
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 13, 2022
Markey wasn’t impressed by Musk’s reaction. “One of your businesses is subject to an FTC Consent Order. Auto safety guard NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you spend your time fighting battles online.” he said. “Fix your businesses. Or Congress will.”
Markey sent the letter prompting the exchange on November 11. In the letter, Markey asks Musk to explain how The Washington Post was able to create a verified account impersonating him and why an official pop-up told Twitter users that the verification was due to a government role. Musk has until November 25 to respond to these and other questions in writing.
Twitter suspended verification of the paid account less than two days after launching its new Blue subscription. While the service was available, trolls used it to impersonate celebrities, politicians and brands, causing chaos on the platform. An account pretending to be LeBron James claimed the NBA star did requested traded by the Los Angeles Lakers. Another tanked the pharmaceutical company’s stock Eli Lilli.
While there is no certainty that Markey’s warning will result in government action, the likelihood of a regulatory response grew more solid Sunday after Democrats secured a Senate majority. Markey is also a member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, the Senate body most likely to recommend action on Twitter.
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