As Twitchy readers know, Elon Musk and Senator Ed Markey exchanged barbs on Twitter today over the question of Musk’s $8 blue check and potential abuse of the system by impersonators.
($8 blue check sounds like a promotional Taco Bell menu item under Joe Biden’s inflation.)
The exchange (linked above) is hilarious because Musk just doesn’t respect these people and it drives them insane. It’s also quite remarkable that a sitting U.S. Senator colluded with the Washington Post to violate Twitter’s Terms of Service (TOS) and then has the gall to whine to Elon Musk that the two managed to break the rules that they set out to break. Markey then went on to threaten congressional action against Musk when the billionaire laughed him off like the clown he is.
A @washingtonpost reporter collaborated with a sitting US Senator to trick @elonmusk with a hoax. Now the Senator is threatening Musk with action from Congress based on this hoax.
Media & elected government officials are working together to prompt investigations into Elon Musk. pic.twitter.com/Fyk7wztjCQ
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) November 14, 2022
Senator Markey did not mention that the WaPo reporter requested the Senator’s permission to impersonate him before the two launched their impersonation effort in violation of Twitter’s TOS.
We think that information might have been useful to the public, Senator Markey. Some might view this as ‘manipulation and deceit‘.
A @washingtonpost reporter was able to create a verified account impersonating me—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. pic.twitter.com/R4r7p6mduP
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 11, 2022
In his letter, Markey states:
Twitter must explain how this happened and how it will prevent it from happening again.
The ‘how’ seems quite clear: Markey and WaPo reporter, Geoffrey A. Fowler, agreed to abuse the verification system to impersonate the Senator. As to the question of preventing it from happening again, we suggest Senator Markey and WaPo follow the rules.
Here’s the original report from WaPo.
Review: We got Twitter “verified” in minutes posing as a comedian and a senatorhttps://t.co/tVcyd6KPE1
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 13, 2022
The TOS-breaching WaPo reporter stated that he created the fake Markey account after first creating another fake account to impersonate a comedian:
… I did my test again with the permission of a U.S. senator, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.). In a few minutes, I got a blue check mark on an impersonation of the lawmaker, who has for years scrutinized tech giants in the Senate.
Here’s a pro-tip for you, WaPo reporter: If you’re going to intentionally break the rules of social media platform, you should request permission from the entity whose rules you intend to violate. Senator Markey can’t give you permission to abuse Twitter policy. He can only agree to be part of your scheme.
Senator Markey closes his letter to Elon Musk as follows:
Allowing an imposter to impersonate a U.S. Senator on Twitter is a serious matter that you need to address promptly.
We agree, Senator Markey, so why did you allow it?
Why is no one asking why the Washington Post reporter colluded with you to create false accounts and make Twitter look bad?
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 13, 2022
Oh, we’re asking. It’s a great question. The media and a sitting U.S. Senator working together to try to damage the reputation of a company and its owner – one that Markey clearly demonstrated animosity towards.
This seems like a potential ethics question that the Washington Post and the U.S. Senate needs ‘to address promptly‘.
You might want to clarify that the Washington Post reporter did this with your knowledge and permission, because I was pretty shocked after reading your letter that WaPo would do this to you. https://t.co/lOP7MGjI3s
— Amy Doghouse (@AmyDoghouse) November 11, 2022
It’s a pretty important piece of information, Senator. Leaving this context out of your tweet smacks of misinformation.
So the media is manufacturing a story of impersonating you… to discredit twitter. Your response is to blame twitter. Hmm… shouldn’t this letter be directed at the @washintonpost for disingenuously impersonating a sitting politician?
It appears, you might be in on it. 🙄
— Daniel (@crusaderx2) November 13, 2022
Yes, that’s exactly what they’re doing, with the support of Senator Markey.
Why are @WashingtonPost reporters intentionally breaking Twitter’s ToS against impersonation? https://t.co/wBaIxitrz6
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 14, 2022
I think we all know why. Senator Markey and WaPo are caught up in the hot new anti-Elon Musk politics and decided to run a con to damage his reputation vis-à-vis his new company.
Abuse of power.
— ǝǝᙠʎǝuoHʞO (@OK_HONEY_BEE) November 14, 2022
A WaPo reporter used his connections to collude with a U.S. Senator to intentionally violate Twitter’s rules, the Senator then used the violation to defame a privately owned company, and finally Senator Markey threatened to use the power granted to him by the people of the United States against the owner in response to a personal insult.
Abuse of power, indeed.