Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk is being warned the platform could face consequences if it does not implement “safeguards.”
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) addressed concerns he has about Twitter during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Mehdi Hassan Show” Wednesday night.
“As the owner of these companies, [Musk] can fire anyone he wants. He can do whatever he wants inside of those companies. But when he’s dealing with the federal government in terms of federal laws, he’s not free to do that,” Markey said.
He went on:
“You cannot ignore what the federal government is requiring of your company. And that goes for safety rules in your vehicles and it also goes for guardrails that have to be built around social media sites that are allowing for $8 to give someone the ability to impersonate who they are. And they could be impersonating the fact that they’re the CDC or Eli Lilly or a United States senator.”
Finally, he added, “That is not permissible and they will pay a price if they do not put safeguards in place.”
Watch the video below:
.@SenMarkey threatens @elonmusk: "You cannot ignore what the federal government is requiring of your company, and that goes for … guardrails that have to be built around social media … They will pay a price if they don't put safeguards in place at Twitter" pic.twitter.com/HkQLNmN01Q
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) November 16, 2022
Markey’s warning comes after The Washington Post experimented with Twitter’s new method of verifying users.
Twitter initially required users to apply for verification — which was originally designed to show a user was who they claimed to be — and they had to meet a certain set of requirements.
But earlier this month, the company launched a new version of its Twitter Blue subscription service. It allowed users to pay $7.99 per month to receive verified status.
However, it put the new verification method on hold after numerous fake accounts showed up claiming to be the real individual or company. In one instance, an account claiming to be the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly posted that insulin was free. The false tweet reportedly cost the company millions in market cap.
As a result, the new system was put on hold until Nov. 29. Musk explained the pause was to “make sure that it is rock solid.”
In the short period of time users were able to pay for verification before the pause, the Post was able to get a fake Markey account verified on Twitter — with his permission.
The senator then sent a letter demanding answers about the process. He argued, “Allowing an imposter to impersonate a U.S. Senator on Twitter is a serious matter that you need to address promptly.”
Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
Musk responded in a tweet, “Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?”
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