A US senator has threatened to ‘fix’ Elon Musk’s businesses after the billionaire mocked him in a Twitter spat.
Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts had complained to the richest person in the world that a Washington Post journalist had created a fake but verified account in his name on the social media platform.
And when he received an offhand response from the entrepreneur, he warned him that Congress would “fix” his businesses if he didn’t.
Twitter’s new $8-a-month verification system has been suspended after a string of businesses, celebrities, politicians and athletes created fake accounts in their names.
“A reporter from the (Washington Post) was able to create a verified account impersonating me. I demand answers from (Elon Musk) who puts profits before people and his debt before stopping misinformation. Twitter must explain how it happened and how to prevent it from happening again,” complained Mr. Markey, who is a Democrat.
But his complaint was openly mocked by Mr. Musk, who last month struck a chaotic $44 billion deal for the San Francisco-based company.
“Maybe it’s because your real account sounds like a parody?” replied Mr. Musk on Twitter.
A @washingtonpost journalist was able to create a verified account pretending to be me. I ask for answers @Elon Musk who puts profits before people and his debt before stopping misinformation. Twitter needs to explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again. pic.twitter.com/R4r7p6mduP
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 11, 2022
And he also took the time to poke fun at Mr. Markey’s profile picture. “And why does your pp have a mask!?” he added.
Mr. Markey was apparently unimpressed with the response.
“One of your companies is subject to an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you spend your time picking online fights. Secure your businesses. Or Congress will,” he said to the billionaire.
One of your companies is subject to an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you spend your time picking online fights. Secure your businesses. Or Congress will. https://t.co/lE178gPRoM
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 13, 2022
It was quickly reported to the Tesla and SpaceX boss that Mr. Markey serves on the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, as well as the Space and Science Subcommittee.
“Are you suggesting that the senator will abuse his political power to attack me?” he has answered.
The FTC, which is the US consumer protection agency, said in a statement last week that it had watched Mr Musk’s takeover of Twitter with “deep concern” after a series of highs security and data protection officers have left the company.
Joe Biden also said he thought Mr Musk’s ties to foreign countries should be “examined”.
The president was asked about the businessman’s financial and business relationships with countries like China and Saudi Arabia and whether he considers the South African-born billionaire a threat to American security.
“I think Elon Musk’s cooperation and/or technical relationships with other countries are worth considering whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate – I’m not suggesting that, I’m suggesting it’s worth worth examining. That’s all I will say,” Mr. Biden replied at a press conference on Wednesday.