Wed. Nov 30th, 2022

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed Wednesday that her Twitter account was experiencing technical issues following an online disagreement with Twitter’s new owner and CEO, Elon Musk.

The Democratic New York representative alleged Wednesday that her Twitter “mentions/notifications conveniently aren’t working.” She followed up with a second tweet Thursday that claimed that the “Verified” tab of her account, which should be populated with tweets from verified creators, appeared empty. 

“This is what my app has looked like ever since my tweet upset you yesterday,” she wrote. “What’s good? Doesn’t seem very free speechy to me.”

The back-and-forth began Tuesday, when Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her distaste that a “billionaire [is] earnestly trying to sell people on the idea that ‘free speech’ is actually a $8/mo subscription plan,” referencing a Musk announcement that the platform was considering charging users for verification status

“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” Musk wrote, referring to Twitter’s current blue check mark system as a “lord & peasants system.”

Musk argued that charging users for their badge would allow the platform a revenue stream with which to reward content creators, and that those shelling out extra money would have access to additional in-app benefits, such as priority in replies, mentions, searches, extended video and audio posting privileges and reduced advertisements. 

Musk replied to Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet, writing, “Your feedback is appreciated, now pay $8.” 

Shortly after the exchange, Musk tweeted a photo of a sweatshirt available on Ocasio-Cortez’s website, circling the $58 price tag. Ocasio-Cortez quote-tweeted the dig, writing, “My workers are union, make a living wage, have full healthcare, and aren’t subject to racist treatment in their workplaces,” referencing lawsuits which have been filed against Tesla by Black employees of the company. 

“Items are made in USA. Team AOC honors and respects working people. You should try it sometime instead of union-busting,” she added. 

In 2021, the National Labor Relations Board ordered Musk to delete an anti-union tweet, and ordered Tesla to rehire a union supporter who had been fired.

In her original claim of app-specific difficulties Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “Just a reminder that money will never [buy] your way out of insecurity, folks.”

Though Musk did not respond directly, his tongue-in-cheek Twitter bio currently reads “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator.”

CBS News has reached out to Twitter for comment.





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