Twitter's fake tweeters to be unmasked

Verified Accounts ensures you're following who you think you are

Verified Accounts ensures you're following who you think you are

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has revealed the company is to start experimenting this summer with a beta preview of a feature, rumoured for some time, called "Verified Accounts". These accounts will feature a special seal indicating that they belong to the person (or persons) they say they belong to.

The experiment will begin with "public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well-known individuals at risk of impersonation," Stone wrote. He said the company hopes to subsequently verify more accounts, but verification will begin with a small set due to the resources required.

The news follows the filing of a lawsuit by US baseball team St Louis Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa over fake tweets made in his name.

Stone wrote in a company blog post on Saturday: "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."

Stone reiterated that the microblogging company suspends, deletes or transfers control of accounts known to be started by impersonators. He said such action was taken in La Russa's case, and also said reports that Twitter has settled the suit were untrue.