Senator to Elon Musk: 'Fix Your Companies. Or Congress Will'

Dem Sen. Ed Markey of Mass. got into it with the Twitter CEO over the weekend
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2022 6:34 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2022 7:00 AM CST
Elon Musk's Latest Twitter Squabble Is With a US Senator
Sen. Ed Markey, D- Mass., speaks during a Democratic election night party on Tuesday in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Elon Musk had it out over the weekend with a US senator on the platform he now owns. Axios reports that Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts kicked things off on Friday with a letter to Musk that he posted on Twitter, asking Musk to fill him in on how a Washington Post reporter was able to easily impersonate Markey's Twitter account in just "a few minutes" (the reporter had Markey's permission to carry out this experiment). "This is unacceptable," Markey wrote in his letter. "Twitter and its leadership have a responsibility to the public to ensure the platform doesn't become a breeding ground for manipulation and deceit."

Markey then asked Musk a series of pointed questions about Twitter's updated verification system, which he said he wanted answered by Nov. 25. On Sunday morning, in response to Markey's query as to how this could have happened, Musk hit back with this reply: "Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?" He also mocked Markey's profile picture, asking the senator why he's wearing a face mask in it. That's when Markey sent out what appeared to be a warning shot to the Twitter CEO. "One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree," Markey wrote. "Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you're spending your time picking fights online."

"Fix your companies," Markey added. "Or Congress will." The Post notes that Markey has in the past asked for a closer look into Musk's automaker Tesla, and that "a number of congressional committees could decide to investigate Musk and ask him to testify," including the Senate Commerce panel that Markey sits on. That committee has purview over the Federal Trade Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Meanwhile, the phony Markey account that started it all has since been scrubbed. (More Elon Musk stories.)

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