Senator Edward Markey and Musk exchange barbs on impersonation scandal

Bridget J. Sims

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A potent senator on Sunday threatened to crack down on Elon Musk’s organizations just after the billionaire took a cheeky swipe at him on Twitter, demonstrating how Democrats could possibly engage with the billionaire now that they have retained management of the congressional chamber.

“One of your corporations is underneath [a Federal Trade Commission] consent decree,” Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) tweeted at Musk, referring to the mogul’s new acquisition. “Auto protection watchdog NHTSA is investigating a further for killing people today. And you are expending your time picking fights on-line. Deal with your firms. Or Congress will.”

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

The spat began following a Washington Put up columnist wrote Friday that he experienced impersonated Markey, with his authorization, to show how simple it is to get a blue verify mark underneath Twitter’s new verification system. “In a several minutes, I obtained a blue look at mark on an impersonation of the lawmaker,” Geoffrey A. Fowler wrote.

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

“Safeguards these as Twitter’s blue checkmark once allowed people to be sensible, critical people of information and information in Twitter’s worldwide town square,” he reported. “But your Twitter takeover, swift and haphazard imposition of system modifications, elimination of safeguards in opposition to disinformation, and firing of huge quantities of Twitter workers have accelerated Twitter’s descent into the Wild West of social media.”

Markey explained he would like a response conveying the course of action by Nov. 25.

On Twitter, he wrote, “I’m inquiring for solutions from Elon Musk, who is putting gains in excess of people and his personal debt about halting disinformation.”

In response to the impersonation situation, Musk wrote, “Perhaps it is due to the fact your serious account sounds like a parody?”

The faux Markey account has considering the fact that been taken down.

A Twitter spokesperson and a Markey spokeswoman did not reply to a ask for for comment.

Markey’s reaction lends new prominence on Capitol Hill to the challenge of Musk’s Twitter ownership. A selection of congressional committees could determine to examine Musk and inquire him to testify, as they have with other tech executives. Amongst individuals is the Senate Commerce committee, which Markey sits on.

Markey in the past has also known as for bigger scrutiny of Tesla, such as when the Countrywide Highway Traffic Basic safety Administration mentioned before this calendar year Tesla vehicles had been in roughly 70 p.c of the crashes involving highly developed driver-aid units in a new time period.

The Twitter disagreement will come just days soon after Musk referred to as on impartial voters to guidance Republicans in the midterm elections, a request that did not appear to have moved the needle, as Republicans underperformed in quite a few races.

“To impartial-minded voters: Shared power curbs the worst excesses of each parties, therefore I advise voting for a Republican Congress, specified that the presidency is Democratic,” he wrote.

The information is the most recent controversy to erupt because Musk took in excess of Twitter final thirty day period, which bought a slew of firings and resignations. Legal specialists have also lifted questions more than whether Musk has violated the FTC’s consent decree with his actions.

And Musk is set to go to courtroom for a lawsuit in excess of his 2018 Tesla shell out package deal, which at the time was valued as substantial as $56 billion.

Tony Romm contributed to this report.

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