Impersonation violates Twitter’s Terms of Service and we take the issue seriously. We suspend, delete, or transfer control of accounts known to be impersonation. When alerted, we took action in this regard on behalf of St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
Reports this week that Twitter has settled a law suit and officially agreed to pay legal fees for an impersonation complaint that was taken care of by our support staff in accordance with our Terms are erroneous. Twitter has not settled, nor do we plan to settle or pay.
With due respect to the man and his notable work, Mr. La Russa’s lawsuit was an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous. Twitter’s Terms of Service are fair and we believe will be upheld in a court that will ultimately dismiss Mr. La Russa’s lawsuit.
Verified Accounts Beta (A Sneak Peak)
We do recognize an opportunity to improve Twitter user experience and clear up confusion beyond simply removing impersonation accounts once alerted. We’ll be experimenting with a beta preview of what we’re calling Verified Accounts this summer.
Verified Accounts will feature a special seal.
The experiment will begin with public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation. We hope to verify more accounts in the future but due to the resources required, verification will begin only with a small set.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s official site links to his Twitter account.
Please note that this doesn’t mean accounts without a verification seal are fake—the vast majority of Twitter accounts are not impersonators. Another way to determine authenticity is to check the official web site of the person for a link back to their Twitter account.
When we do start testing Account Verification, we will be sure to provide ample methods for feedback. Initially, verification will not be tested with businesses. However, we do see an opportunity in that arena so we’ll keep you posted when we have something to share.
Did someone say … cookies?