US lawmakers want antitrust probe into Elon Musk’s ‘alarming steps’ as Twitter owner

The US Federal Trade Commission may begin an investigation into ‘alarming steps’ taken by Elon Musk as new Twitter owner. The development comes after seven senators of the US Democratic Party, including Senators Richard Blumenthal and Elizabeth Warren, wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Thursday, alleging that Elon Musk-owned Twitter was disregarding its users. The senators urged the antitrust law-enforcer to investigate any breach of consent between FTC and Twitter.

The lawmakers, , 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.

Previously on November 11, the Federal Trade Commission had said in an emailed statement that it was keeping a watch on the situation.

“We are tracking recent developments at Twitter with deep concern,” a spokesperson was quoted as saying by NBC News. “No CEO or company is above the law, and companies must follow our consent decrees. Our revised consent order gives us new tools to ensure compliance, and we are prepared to use them.”

‘Musk cannot bully senior talent’

Late on Thursday, #RIPTwitter was trending on the microblogging platform, as users said apprehensive goodbyes and listed other social media platforms where they could still be found. 

Scores of employees at the social media company on Thursday rejected owner Elon Musk’s ultimatum to work “extremely hardcore,” throwing the platform into utter disarray. Employees flooded the “#social-watercooler” channel with the salute emoji, saying that they had chosen not to sign Musk’s pledge. 

Elon Musk’s first two weeks as Twitter owner have been marked by rapid change and uncontrolled chaos. Musk had fired Twitter’s previous CEO and other senior executives and then laid off half its staff earlier this month.

“Elon is finding out that he can’t bully top senior talent. They have lots of options and won’t put up with his antics,” a former Twitter executive was quoted as saying by CNN. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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