Elon Musk Accused of Undermining Twitter’s Integrity, Safety by US Senators, Could Face FTC Probe


Seven Democratic senators sent a letter on Thursday to the Federal Trade Commission, warning that Twitter, now owned by Elon Musk, was acting in disregard of users and urging the agency to investigate any breach of a consent decree that the FTC inked with Twitter. The lawmakers, including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Elizabeth Warren, asked the agency to consider enforcement actions against the company and against individual executives where appropriate.

“In recent weeks, Twitter’s new Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, has taken alarming steps that have undermined the integrity and safety of the platform, and announced new features despite clear warnings those changes would be abused for fraud, scams, and dangerous impersonation,” the lawmakers said in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan.

Neither Twitter nor the FTC immediately responded to requests for comment.

The billionaire’ s first two weeks as Twitter’s owner have been marked by rapid change and chaos. He quickly fired Twitter’s previous CEO and other senior leaders and then laid off half its staff earlier this month.

There have been concerns that the upheaval would lead to Twitter failing to abide by a May 2022 settlement with the US regulator in which Twitter agreed to improve its privacy practices and place responsibility on people who held certain positions.

In a May 2022 settlement with the US regulator, Twitter agreed to improve its privacy practices and placed responsibility on people who held certain positions. But compliance has come into question as Musk pursues rapid launches of features to steer the debt-laden, money-losing company into profitability. In addition, several executives in charge of following the orders have quit or been pushed out.

The FTC said last week it was “tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern. No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees.”

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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