From Ed Markey <[email protected]>
Subject I am taking on Elon Musk. Add your name to join me.
Date November 22, 2022 4:42 PM
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Friends -

If you've been on Twitter over the past few weeks, you probably know exactly what this email is all about.

Since Elon Musk's takeover, the company has been in complete disarray. Over half of its workers have been fired or resigned, its content moderation functions have been dismantled, and its advertisers are fleeing in droves.

Mr. Musk implemented a system where users could purchase verified account status for $8/month. Naturally, the jokes and the memes spread quickly at first — but the truth is that this got me incredibly worried.

A Washington Post reporter, with permission from our team, was able to create an account under my name, with the handle @realEdMarkey, and get verified by Twitter in minutes — blue check and all.

We wanted to show the danger of this system: If a sitting United States Senator could be so easily impersonated and verified, who knows what other kinds of damage could be done?

The truth is that Twitter's role in our society as a global town square and communications platform is essential. And by removing the safeguards for verification, by gutting the platform's content moderation systems, and by firing or forcing the resignation of key staff responsible for privacy, legal compliance, and cybersecurity, the possibility for financial scams, fraud, disinformation, and abuse is incredible.

It's true that Twitter paused their ridiculous $8/month scheme, and are supposedly in the middle of reworking it. But these actions are incredibly concerning — and so I'm demanding answers from Elon Musk, who is putting profits over people and his debt payments over the safety of Twitter's users.

That's why I've signed onto a letter with my Senate colleagues asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Twitter, and why I'm asking for your support today:

Add your name if you agree — The Federal Trade Commission must investigate Twitter and its CEO Elon Musk for their serious, willful disregard for the safety and security of its users. This is important. [[link removed]]

ADD YOUR NAME [[link removed]]

I've been leading fights in Congress to enhance online privacy, protect everyday people, and regulate the tech giants and the billionaires who run them for decades. These are not new issues for me.

Meanwhile, it's clear that Elon Musk does not understand the company he spent $44 billion taking over, nor does he understand the role it plays in our society.

Well, I can assure Mr. Musk, our democracy is a lot more complicated than rocket ships or electric cars — and I will do everything in my power as a United States Senator to protect it.

Thanks for adding your support today.

In solidarity,

Ed Markey

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