Senator Edward Markey and Musk alternate barbs on impersonation scandal



A strong senator on Sunday threatened to crack down on Elon Musk’s corporations after the billionaire took a cheeky swipe at him on Twitter, displaying how Democrats may have interaction with the billionaire now that they’ve retained management of the congressional chamber.

“One in every of your corporations is beneath [a Federal Trade Commission] consent decree,” Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) tweeted at Musk, referring to the mogul’s new acquisition. “Auto security watchdog NHTSA is investigating one other for killing individuals. And also you’re spending your time selecting fights on-line. Repair your corporations. Or Congress will.”

Markey was responding to Musk’s tweet at the lawmaker that the senator’s account “seems like a parody.”

The spat started after a Washington Put up columnist wrote Friday that he had impersonated Markey, together with his permission, to indicate how simple it’s to get a blue verify mark beneath Twitter’s new verification system. “In a couple of minutes, I acquired a blue verify mark on an impersonation of the lawmaker,” Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote.

Markey then wrote a letter to Musk criticizing the brand new coverage.

“Safeguards corresponding to Twitter’s blue checkmark as soon as allowed customers to be sensible, crucial shoppers of stories and knowledge in Twitter’s international city sq.,” he stated. “However your Twitter takeover, speedy and haphazard imposition of platform adjustments, removing of safeguards towards disinformation, and firing of enormous numbers of Twitter staff have accelerated Twitter’s descent into the Wild West of social media.”

Markey stated he would love a response explaining the method by Nov. 25.

On Twitter, he wrote, “I’m asking for solutions from Elon Musk, who’s placing earnings over individuals and his debt over stopping disinformation.”

In response to the impersonation situation, Musk wrote, “Maybe it’s as a result of your actual account seems like a parody?”

The pretend Markey account has since been taken down.

A Twitter spokesperson and a Markey spokeswoman didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Markey’s response lends new prominence on Capitol Hill to the difficulty of Musk’s Twitter possession. A lot of congressional committees might resolve to analyze Musk and ask him to testify, as they’ve with different tech executives. Amongst these is the Senate Commerce committee, which Markey sits on.

Markey previously has additionally called for higher scrutiny of Tesla, together with when the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration stated earlier this 12 months Tesla autos have been in roughly 70 p.c of the crashes involving superior driver-assistance methods in a latest interval.

The Twitter disagreement comes simply days after Musk referred to as on unbiased voters to help Republicans within the midterm elections, a request that didn’t seem to have moved the needle, as Republicans underperformed in lots of races.

“To independent-minded voters: Shared energy curbs the worst excesses of each events, subsequently I like to recommend voting for a Republican Congress, on condition that the presidency is Democratic,” he wrote.

The information is the newest controversy to erupt since Musk took over Twitter final month, which purchased a slew of firings and resignations. Authorized specialists have additionally raised questions over whether or not Musk has violated the FTC’s consent decree together with his actions.

And Musk is set to go to court for a lawsuit over his 2018 Tesla pay bundle, which on the time was valued as excessive as $56 billion.

Tony Romm contributed to this report.

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