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Elon Musk picks a fight with one of our senators - who sits on committees that oversee the stuff three of his companies do

After Twitter's new owner opened its blue checkmarks to anybody with $8 to spare, a Washington Post reporter spent $8 and a few minutes to register an account as @realEdMarkey. And while that account didn't go around crashing the stock of rapacious drug companies or announcing the overthrow of the government of Brazil, Ed Markey was not happy.

He fired off an answer to Elon Musk demanding answers and posted a copy on Twitter.

Musk responded this morning:

Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody?

Markey, who sits on Senate sub-committees on communications, data security and space and science, was not amused:

One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. 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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Comments

Congress threatening to fix something also sounds like a parody.

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Remember the water quality back in the 70s?

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N/t

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Someone in the 21% of people who approve of Congress.

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besides the joke itself being Brian Griffin level humor, it's safe to say the joke wasn't actually about the efficacy of Congress as much as it was "haha Democrat bad"

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Contaminated food?
Lead poisoning?
Dangerously shoddy construction?
No safety regulations for construction?
Would you like some canned human meat along with your canned non-human meat?

These rarely or never happen today thanks to decisions Congress and the authorizations granted by Congress to regulatory agencies.

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I'll take death by PATRIOT Act and Iraq War. Thank you Congressman Markey !!

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"You're supposed to outlaw human meat, you low expectation-having (expletive)!"

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Surely consumption of human or non-human meat should be left entirely up to the free market?

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Forcing the manufacturer to disclose where the (expletive) they got the specimens from.

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Federal Highways.

You plan to stay off of them?

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There are some many weird nerds on twitter who are willing to take a bullet for Elon musk. It’s sad really

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They can relate to the former and also solidly believe that they will someday be the latter even though they didn't inherit a huge amount of money like Alfred E. Musk did.

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is excellent. The resemblance is uncanny.

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are the people who flex for our politicians.

We literally have the most bloated, ineffectual group of "leaders" in the western world. We elect vegetables like Joe Biden, John Fetterman, Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein. We have morons like MTG, AOC, Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert and Ayanna Pressley in the House who are more concerned with social media clout than they are about making and passing laws. A congressman seriously asked if Guam was at risk of tipping over, and we elected Donald Trump as President. We are not a serious country, and the people who take any of our politicians seriously are the definition of idiotic.

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you know what you did

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Both sides are garbage. I’m glad that I was clear enough for you.

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now i know for sure that appearances in popular magazines, running social media accounts, and general self-aggrandizement are absolutely EXACTLY the same as:

1) (allegedly, but likely) engaging in sexual activity with a minor
2) election denial
3) anti-semitism, including holocaust denial
4) unapologetic racism, overt and otherwise

/s

look, you don't have to be a Democrat apologist to know that AOC and Ayanna Pressley have no business being listed with the names you posted.

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Both sides are bad?!?11?

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What kind of feral raised you and in what color of barn, you sniveling ageist fuckwit?

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Yes, I don’t believe that people in their 70s, 80s and 90s, or those who suffered massive strokes while running for office, should be able to run for public office. I’m not sure why that’s even remotely controversial for you and I’m not the least bit sorry that that hurts your feelings. Go get some fresh air.

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They should be allowed to run.

Their victories are on the electorate.

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Trot out your neurologist credentials, sport. I'm not one myself, and have only one personal experience with someone who suffered a "massive stroke". Far from running for office, or being able to twitch so much as a finger, she died six days later.

Go get some fresh air.

I'd suggest you do the same, but first you're going to have to pull your head out of your snotty sanctimonious ass.

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It’s true that I don’t know what kind of stroke Fetterman had, mostly because he refused to release the medical info. I did watch his debate, though. It was humiliating and embarrassing, and he should have never been up there or running for the office.

I do know that stroke recovery after 6 months is slow, if it even happens. He had his in May, so you do the math.

Do you really think his stroke was TIA or something minor?

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Do you really think his stroke was TIA or something minor?

A "massive stroke" results in complete incapacitation followed by death.

You don't know what you're talking about.

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In complete incapacitation and then death, sport. Someone that’s such a stickler for details should know this.

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In complete incapacitation and then death, sport.

You're wrong, sport. The damage precludes recovery. Death may not come quickly, but it comes.

We were discussing a feeding tube for my mother when she died. So, clearly there are people in this state who linger for some time. She wasn't one, for which I am grateful. She would not have recovered.

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My dad is proof that you’re wrong with your above statement. He’s going on 30 years since suffering a massive stroke.

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is that "massive stroke" can mean different things to different people, different people can respond differently to things like strokes, and so the idea that "anyone who's had a stroke isn't fit for public office" isn't really a reasonable rule to apply.

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but the lbb method is to ignore the overall point, focus on one or two words and then throw a shit fit like a 12 year old.

I would consider a stroke where one develops an auditory processing disorder, difficulty speaking, slurred speech, mental confusion and an inability to understand as massive. As I mentioned before, according to statistics, he's not going to be getting any better.

Fetterman is a prime reason why I can't get on board with either side. He's clearly unfit to serve, and anyone who is honest can admit that. The problem is we're willing to look past that as long as my team wins. At the end of the day, I really don't blame him, I blame his detestable wife. I can't believe a wife would allow her husband to be so publicly humiliated, but hey, her and Dr Jill can laugh about that over crudite and wine at the White House.

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Your father didn't recover from his massive stroke. You say Fetterman is unfit to serve? And you don't see daylight between him and your father?

Okay then.

Have a nice day, toxic one.

My father never had a stroke.

You see those little hyperlinked things above the comment? Those are called usernames. They're helpful because they identify who you're speaking too. I'm sorry your reading comprehension is poor.

You can fuck off now.

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You claim reading comprehension and completely mixed me with another poster. This will go down as post of the year (pst - not in a good way)

And my dad’s doctors were wrong with what’s considered a massive stroke. Wtf?!

ever. They are too mixed-up for that. Neither are most people, most of the time. Least serious of all are those who like to condescend to others publicly about how unserious they are. This disdain is just a vanity posture. Those who speak scornfully of politicians of every stripe are really just engaged in self-flattery, positioning themselves on an Olympian height that they have done nothing to attain.

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But, I actually just hate them. I have a special disdain for liars, grifters and those who profit off the pain others.

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Can't have civilization without them. However, governments are not ever to be trusted, being made up of very fallible human beings. Keeping a suspicious eye on them is part of the price of living in civilization.

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but you could say the same about so many things. Families, for instance. Gotta have them, but can’t trust them. Part of the price of living.

Keep in mind, any bill they pass has to go through the Senate, which has been either under the control of the Republican party, or the control of Manchin/Sinema. So...apart from proposing or supporting bills that are approved by their colleagues in the House, what more are they supposed to be doing here?

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I understand Journalists use Twitter extensively but the non-stop "reporting" on that company is getting annoying. That's a knock at the big outlets, not UHub.

Labor laws, shady accounting, etc are what federal oversight is for. Markey and Warren would be better off focusing on Tesla's safety record, Musk's SEC violations, and similar offenses that are far more serious than who gets blue star on some private server.

If the end result of this is people learning to trust absolutely nothing posted on Twitter, we'd all be better off. Until that time, stop giving Twitter so much press. And conversely, focus on other business stories that actually affect a majority of people, such as the attempted merger between the two biggest supermarkets. The recent slate article on that topic shows how it's going to affect millions of Americans whereas the Twitter crap only affects celebrities.

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Hi there! I’m not a celebrity, and the goings-on with Twitter affect me quite strongly. Much of my extended professional, political, & personal community exists via & on Twitter. I’ve landed job interviews, advocacy opportunities, and simply made friends thanks to it.

It doesn’t “just affect celebrities”, it affects millions who have utilized it as a powerful communication, organization, and support tool.

One great example: the community of neurodivergent folks (e.g., autism, bipolar, ADHD, etc). As someone in this camp, I’ve benefitted immensely from this community on Twitter, and have been greatly empowered & bettered by what I’ve learned.

So I urge you to reconsider how important Twitter has been & is. There’s a real reason all those journos are up in arms about it.

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For a variety of reasons... just ask your parents about AOL

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The decent of Netscape and Ask Jeeves. They used to be so, so very popular.

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People can still be upset about their preferred platform being run into the ground thanks to the actions of one overgrown manchild with money to burn.

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I'm sorry that the possible loss of twitter will negatively affect you.

Much like MySpace, LiveJournal, etc it was a mistake to put too much faith in a private company that has no obligation to care about you or anyone else. Even without Musk, Twitter's financial woes and problems with content moderation had been widely reported for some time.

The federal government has little control over how Twitter operates, particularity when it comes to content moderation. That's how it should be. Markey is wrong to be getting involved with that aspect of the dumpster fire.

I hope all the communities that benefited from Twitter move onto new platforms that aren't as susceptible to these sorts of corporate shenanigans.

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You’re doing the “I don’t care about Twitter, so no one should” thing, and that’s weird. We chastise commenters who do this on this website all the time, there’s no reason to stop now.

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You're right. I just hope people understand that government intervention in the content side of twitter is bad. It's bad when the governors of Florida and Texas do it to and Markey should know enough to stay out of it too.

There are plenty of things Musk is doing which are clearly illegal. Who gets a checkmark isn't one of them.

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the government regulates broadcast over the air - the internet applies. They can't censor but can arrest for sedition, pornography, etc. something that Elon Musk is helping in the name of so called free speech. Plus his ineptitude has caused multiple companies' stocks to crash, which has global economy implications (as well as for the companies - if Eli Lilly loses billions, affects pharma industry for example). Markey is correct that Congress can step in with legislation, hearings, etc. I personally hope those companies and individuals sue him personally (Musk) as well as his version of Twitter. Also hope the people shoved out unceremoniously create the Twitter killer.

https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/preemptive-safety/internet-laws

And I think Twitter is a useless clown show populated by the stupidest and most vapid among us.

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...but do you spend enough time there to know? If so, why?

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After all, if it's populated by the stupidest and most vapid among us, then Will's gotta be there.

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Rate them from smartest to stupidest.

Me
Kanye
Michelle Wu
Anyone who's ever Storrowed a truck
Anderson Cooper

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ha

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that I can only like this comment one time (or 2 times if I log out and like it, but that's cheesey).

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Actually, Twitter has been under an FTC consent decree for some time now and some of the current actions are serious violations of that with ramifications for both the company and individuals who work there.

There are issues of information security, among other things, not to mention harm to people from those making fake accounts in their names that are used to damage their reputations (something that's a serious problem in certain areas).

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I'm pretty sure Markey and his staff have time to address both problems at Twitter and Tesla's safety record.

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Proofreading note: I think that what Sen. Markey fired off to Musk was either a tweet or some other form of message, not an "answer."

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Public Service Announcement

If any of you are considering Mastodon as an alternative to Twitter it's a distributed protocol, you'll select a server to live on and different servers have different moderation policies so you should find one you trust.

I am running a server at https://mastodon.roundpond.net if you not a hole you are welcome.

"High performance, high love, low bro, no hate, no ads, $0/mo."

Adam! I would love to support you.

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at https://better.boston/ -- that's another Mastodon server. (Terminology correction: The actual protocol is called ActivityPub, and the larger network is called the fediverse. Mastodon is just one of the microblogging services that "speak" ActivityPub.)

A gentle note for people moving from Twitter to the fediverse -- the culture can be quite different. Mostly, it's more empathetic, although it depends somewhat on which part of the network you're on. Keep open eyes and an open mind and try not to import any of the toxicity that Twitter often encourages. It's a good opportunity to start over on that sort of thing.

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If Twitter contributes to negative economic consequences against a person because Twitter is engages in what is tantamount to intentional negligence is Twitter liable for damages?

If a person opens an account called @Realwhoever and buys that name. Posts insane comments. But then the insane comments cause economic harm to the actual whoever, is Twitter liable in part because it sold a false identity?

Selling that false identity is intentional. By not engaging in any kind of verification that is negligence.

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"... is Twitter liable in part because it sold a false identity?"

Perhaps not. Impersonating someone falsely is against Twitter's TOS. So, WAPO violated the TOS as soon as they purchased the identity under false pretenses.

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The only useful part of the DMCA was "Section 230" which states:

"No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider"

So, Twitter isn't liable for someone else's libel.

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I'm not sure that's the question. Libel is one thing, but impersonation is something different. To the extent that Twitter enables impersonation, that could be actionable by the harmed party.

To have rewarded Ed Markey with precisely 0 votes while I was a Massachusetts resident.

What an obnoxious tool. "Wahhh, I'm not happy." You have a six-figure job and you own a house in New England. (Expletive) your feelings. Elon Musk is an abject fraud, but I'm still siding with him over any Congressperson not named Bernie or Ayanna any day.

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I supported him because he was one of the few senators to stand up for Net Neutrality and knew what he was talking about.

He's foolish for getting into this fight but Markey is better than most senators. (Not saying much.) He's 10x better than his opponents in Massachusetts.

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He's foolish for getting into this fight

Tell me you don't know how this works without telling me you don't know how this works.

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we never would have known, you haven't repeated it over and over and over.

Florida resident (by choice, even!) says what?

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He does do that, but you apparently don't pay attention to it, because he did not move to Florida, just elsewhere in New England. You are thinking of somebody else, who also tells us over and over again (and might not have even moved yet, just talks about it incessantly).

Do people really think a Congressman threatening a private citizen for making a mocking comment is acceptable? Perhaps look in the mirror sometimes.

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Instead, the Congressman should have contacted the FTC commissioner who could investigate the practices of Twitter and discover serious violations of their consent agreement and fined them for millions.

But we don't do law enforcement in America any more. We let Trump install cronies everywhere and Biden has been completely lackluster about cleaning out the trash. So the best we get is a Twitter beef with a Senator and a dickhead.

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Google "Congressional Committee" and get back to me.

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