- Tesla is being sued by the widow of an Apple engineer who died in a 2018 car crash.
- The lawsuit cites statements from Elon Musk promoting the safety of Tesla’s self-driving software.
- But Tesla’s lawyers say they can’t confirm if he ever said that, because they could be deepfakes.
Jack Black, Ian McKellen, and other celebrities are irritated by Elon Musk’s plans to charge Twitter users at least $8 a month for a blue checkmark
Elon Musk has made many changes on Twitter since acquiring the company for $44 billion in late October. As well as laying off thousands of employees and restoring former President Donald Trump’s account, he’s also launched Twitter Blue.
Twitter Blue is a monthly subscription service that costs at least $8 a month. Blue offers subscribers fewer adverts, priority with tweets, and above all, a blue checkmark that signals that they’re verified.
Although Twitter said users who previously got a blue tick for free would have their legacy checkmark removed from April 1, the only account affected so far is the New York Times’ account. The rollout of Twitter’s paid subscription feature has irritated some users, including celebrities.
Jack Black told Variety he was going to call Musk’s bluff.
Ian McKellen made it clear he wasn’t planning to sign up for Twitter Blue.
Ben Stiller said he had “no idea” how people will know what his official Twitter account is once his blue checkmark is removed.
LeBron James also said he wasn’t paying for Twitter Blue.
Dionne Warwick said she’d rather spend the money on extra hot lattes than Twitter Blue.
William Shatner called Twitter Blue a “money grab.”
Monica Lewinsky shared screenshots of other Twitter accounts that had the same name as her and a blue checkmark.
Jason Alexander, who starred in “Seinfeld,” threatened to quit Twitter.
Karl Urban, who acted in “Star Trek” and “Lord of the Rings,” warned his Twitter followers about other users impersonating him.
Martin Lewis, an expert in personal finance in the UK, told his 2.2 million Twitter followers that Twitter Blue could cause scams and fraud.
But Musk isn’t backing down. He’s said there shouldn’t be a different standard for celebrities on Twitter.
Tesla’s lawyers say that Elon Musk’s past statements about the safety of its self-driving feature can’t be trusted because they could be deepfakes, per court filings seen by Insider.
The electric car company is being sued by Sz Hua Huang, whose husband Walter Huang died in a car crash in 2018.
The lawsuit – which was first submitted to the Santa Clara County Superior Court in 2019 – alleges that Tesla’s autopilot feature was defective, and accelerated Huang’s car into a concrete barrier after misreading highway lane lines.
Huang’s lawyers want to interview Musk about statements he made promoting the capabilities of Tesla’s self-driving software.
But Tesla’s lawyers say they don’t know whether or not Musk actually said any of those things.
“At first glance it might seem unusual that Tesla could not admit or deny the authenticity of video and audio recordings purportedly contain statements by Mr. Musk,” they wrote in an April 20 court filing seen by Insider.
“The reality is he, like many public figures, is the subject of many ‘deepfake’ videos and audio recordings that purport to show him saying and doing things he never actually said or did.”
On Wednesday, Judge Evette Pennypacker said these arguments were “deeply troubling” and tentatively ordered Musk to be interviewed under oath for three hours about whether he made the statements, Reuters reported.
“Their position is that because Mr. Musk is famous and might be more of a target for deepfakes, his public statements are immune,” Pennypacker wrote, per Reuters.
“In other words, Mr. Musk, and others in his position, can simply say whatever they like in the public domain, then hide behind the potential for their recorded statements being a deep fake to avoid taking ownership of what they did actually say and do,” the judge added.
The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial on July 31.
Tesla and an attorney for Huang did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, sent outside US working hours.