Ed Markey (D-Mass.) clashed with billionaire Elon Musk in an online exchange on Sunday, in which Musk called the world’s richest man “his companies or Congress” after mocking the senator’s complaints about Twitter. to fix it”.
On Friday, Markey sent a letter to Musk asking for more information about how accounts were being verified on Twitter and accused the social media company’s new owner of spreading propaganda and “putting an advantage on people.”
Markey sent the letter to Musk after his account was copied by a Washington Post reporter, testing how easy it was to impersonate notable figures. The fake marque account, which was set up with the senator’s permission, was later suspended.
musk answered on sunday Markey’s tweet for sharing the letter with a joke on the senator.
“Maybe it’s because your original account sounds like a parody?” Musk wrote. “And why does your [personal profile] Have a mask!?”
Markey argued in response that “one of your companies is under an FTC consent decree,” referring to Twitter and the Federal Trade Commission.
“Auto Safety Watchdog NHTSA is conducting another investigation into what killed people,” Markey tweeted, referring to Tesla and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies. Or Congress will.”
Twitter on Friday withheld the ability to pay $7.99 per month for the blue check mark, which signifies an official, verified account, after the social media platform was flooded with impersonated accounts of notable people.
Before Musk bought Twitter, the verification system made it clear that an account was official and authenticated by the company, giving users the ability to know that the information on the account came from a genuine and verifiable source.
In his letter, Markey pressed for details about how the payment verification system is different from before and explained that he was personally concerned as his account was impersonated.
The news is the latest firestorm after Musk bought Twitter and took it private last month.
Several of the company’s top security and privacy experts have also resigned amid the controversial changes.
The Federal Trade Commission is tracking incidents related to privacy and security in light of the consent decree that requires Twitter to increase oversight of the security of user data.