Sen. Ed Markey threatened Elon Musk on Sunday after the world’s richest man mocked the Massachusetts Democrat for complaining about Twitter impersonations.
After Musk took control of Twitter, he allowed users to get a blue verified checkmark if they subscribed to “Twitter Blue” for $8 per month. The service, however, was quickly abused, resulting in a wave of impersonations. Twitter has since suspended giving out the blue checkmarks.
What did Markey say?
Markey demanded answers from Musk about Twitter’s verification process after the Democratic lawmaker colluded with a Washington Post writer to create a Twitter account impersonating him.
Considering all you needed was a credit card to purchase the blue checkmark, it worked. And Markey was upset.
In a letter, Markey demanded answers from Musk for the “haphazard imposition” of changes to Twitter because “[a]llowing an imposter to impersonate a U.S. Senator on Twitter is a serious matter that you need to address promptly.” Of course, Markey failed to disclose in the letter that he gave the Washington Post writer permission to impersonate him.
Markey then drew attention to his complaint by going on Twitter to accuse Musk of “putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation.”
How did Musk respond?
Musk responded to Markey on Sunday by accusing his official Twitter account of being a “parody” and mocked him for wearing a face mask in his profile picture.
“Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?” Musk mocked.
“And why does your pp have a mask!?” he said.
What was Markey’s response?
Markey threatened Musk, suggesting that Congress will “fix” his companies.
“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people,” Markey responded. “And you’re spending your time picking fights online.
“Fix your companies. Or Congress will,” he threatened.
Markey was referring to the possibility that Musk may have violated the consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has not yet commented on the matter.
Meanwhile, the National Highway Safety Administration has been investigating Tesla over fatal crashes in which drivers used the car’s automated driving capabilities.