A Democratic senator expressed anger upon learning a reporter was able to create a verified Twitter account under his name.
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) demanded answers from Twitter’s new owner about seemingly relaxed security on the social media platform.
“A @washingtonpost reporter was able to create a verified account impersonating me,” Markey tweeted Friday. “I’m asking for answers from @elonmusk who is putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation. Twitter must explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again.”
The Massachusetts Democrat corresponded with Musk earlier that day, informing him a Washington Post reporter impersonated him. The reporter easily obtained a verified account under the senator’s name by paying $8, according to Markey.
He said it appears anyone willing to pay $8 may abuse Twitter’s new lax verification process to impersonate someone on the platform.
“Selling the truth is dangerous and unacceptable,” the senator wrote the Twitter owner. “Twitter must explain how this happened and how it will prevent it from happening again.”
Markey claimed Twitter’s vaunted blue checkmark used to allow users to be smart consumers of news and information on the site. Now? Not so much, the senator opined and he instructed Musk to reply in writing before November 25.
“Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?” the world’s richest man replied tongue in cheek.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald chimed in on the thread, noting Markey is not a fan of free internet speech.
“Here’s @SenMarkey demanding tech companies censor in accordance with his political views, all in the context of his party threatening social media companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they fail to obey their censorship orders,” Greenwald commented in the thread. “Classic tyranny.” His caption appeared above a video clip featuring Markey.
Greenwald is the journalist whom NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed details to about U.S. spying on American citizens. Greenwald shared a Pulitzer prize for his work at The Guardian on the series of releases.
A former state senator took umbrage with the Tesla founder’s offhanded treatment of a senator.
“He’s an elected official with constituents,” former Ohio Democratic state Senator Nina Turner tweeted, “This isn’t a game, dude.”
Politico’s Sam Stein added his two cents to the discussion in seeming agreement with Turner.
“Always risky to attack members of congress,” Stein stated. “Especially risky with Dems assured of Senate power. Curious play by Musk here. He has many interests before Congress.”
Unsurprisingly, the senator was also upset with what he perceived to be a lack of deference from Musk.
“One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree,” Markey reminded Musk. “Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies.”
“Or Congress will.”
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