With the U.S. midterm elections less than six months away, Twitter has announced a new effort to combat fake news and the impersonation of public figures. Twitter will be rolling out a new verification badge for all major U.S. political candidates on Twitter next week, complete with a new icon that goes beyond the familiar blue checkmark.
The new verification badge includes a small icon of a government building and the office that the person is running for. The labels will be available to people running for Governor, U.S. Senate, and the House of Representatives who have qualified for the general election ballot during the 2018 U.S. midterm elections, which are being held on November 6, 2018. Candidates in smaller local elections won't have the option to be verified in the new way.
Twitter says that the labels will appear on the profile landing page of the candidate and next to all tweets sent or retweeted by the candidate. The badge will also be visible wherever tweets from the candidate's account are embedded on websites outside of the Twitter ecosystem.
The social media company released these images of what the new badge and verification labels will look like for candidates:
"Twitter is partnering with Ballotpedia, a non-profit, civic organisation that publishes nonpartisan information on federal, state, and local politics, to help identify the campaign Twitter accounts of candidates once they qualify for the general election ballot for an applicable office," Twitter's senior public policy manager Bridget Coyne said in a blog post.
A whopping 38 out of the 50 states have gubernatorial elections this year, and 33 of the 100 U.S. Senate seats are being contested. All 435 U.S House seats are up for grabs, since members only serve a term of two years, compared with the Senate's 6-year terms.
Twitter is doing its part, but you can't necessarily say the same for the U.S. government. Last week, we reported that only 13 states have requested federal funds set aside to improve election security. And just yesterday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified that "there is a great deal more work to do" to counter efforts to stop foreign interference in the upcoming election.
"We have not been able to achieve deterrence, effective deterrence of some of these efforts of the Russians but this administration has taken enormous efforts to push back against Russia," Pompeo said at a hearing on Wednesday.
The Trump regime has pushed back against Russia? Whatever you say, Mike. Whatever you say.