Twitter Wages War On Fake Celebs

Dennis Faas's picture

Micro-blogging site Twitter is working on a scheme to verify that "celebrities" posting on the site are the real deal. But it says it will not be settling out of court in a legal action brought by St Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

Starting this summer, the site will work on a beta (test) program to allow public figures to verify their identity. Once they have done so, their account will be labeled with a special logo to show it is indeed run by the claimed personality.

Potential Charges for Account Verification

At first the scheme will be open to celebrities, sporting stars, politicians and public agencies. Announcing the scheme, Stone did not make any mention of whether there will be a charge for account verification, though a spokesman said individuals won't be charged during the test period. (Source:

That said, Stone did note there was a future "opportunity" for verifying businesses. That could be a source of income, though it's likely many firms would object to Twitter indirectly making cash out of the threat of bogus accounts.

Stone stressed that once the scheme is in place, the absence of a verification logo should not be seen as a sign that a particular account is bogus. He suggested that celebrities could prove their account is legitimate by posting their Twitter user name on their official websites. (Source:

Baseball Legend's Case "Frivolous," Says Twitter

The site has already removed a bogus account claiming to be run by baseball manager La Russa. The posts included comments about drunk driving and the deaths of team players.

However, Stone rejects claims that the site has settled a legal case brought by La Russa. "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."

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